Management Today recently provided some advice to entrepreneurs who hoped to get their products into supermarkets; advice which could be useful to local retailers too!

Graham Cassie, who sources local and regional foods for Waitrose, advises suppliers to think about why their product should replace someone else’s.

“Ask yourself what your product is bringing to the range for the customer,” he says. If there is a similar product, “why does your product do a better job?”

For local shopkeepers, this is a useful exercise when thinking about stocking new products. Is a new product a novelty – something that will have a short life until shoppers get bored. Or an innovation – something that will change how shoppers think about your business and build new revenue streams.

Small suppliers, if persistent, can be successful in supermarkets because they need new products to keep shoppers interested. Your store needs new products too and you need to evaluate what is right for you.