Most companies now offer schemes to reward retailers for loyalty or compliance.

Examples of these include preferred shelf agreements and target incentives from tobacco companies like JTI, planogram compliance rewards from confectionery manufacturers, rebate schemes from wholesalers such as Booker and Best-one and point schemes offered by credit card companies.

These small incentives and bonuses might not seem a lot but if you add up the value of all the schemes out there, the rewards can mount up to thousands of pounds per year.

Such schemes not only give a cash or stock reward but can also help maintain store standards because you can, in effect, leave the category under the scheme to the company rep and a delegated member of staff. You can also tell if the category is underperforming or if the staff aren’t maintaining standards from the reps’ feedback and any drop in rewards you receive in any given period.

You can also use them to reward staff, use as competition prizes for customers or even give them to charity.

Either way, if you were to use all of these schemes to your advantage you could earn rewards worth thousands of pounds each year.

To make the most out of them it does really help if you have a good relationship with your company rep and if he or she is proactive in what they do by doing things such as liaising with you and your staff and using your own EPoS data to make the category in question work better for you.

These schemes are really there for underperforming stores to up their game and buying, so not all companies will be so proactive in signing you up – why should they pay you to do something you’re already doing? So look at what schemes are out there by asking your reps and peers, because even the most boring of shelves can turn out to have a silver lining.

In today’s retail world you really have to make your shelves work for you and sweat out every bit of profit you can, so making the most of any incentive scheme really does make sense.

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