Booker has halved the promotional allocations for its symbol group retailers, reducing the likelihood of wastage for stores.

The decision started with Premier stores earlier this year, but has since been extended to Londis and Budgens retailers.

Retailers from the symbol groups have welcomed the decision, praising the wholesaler for taking a more focused approach to promotional allocations.

Vince Malone, of Premier Tenby Stores & Post Office in Pembrokeshire, told betterRetailing: “We get a minimum amount now and it’s the bare bones.

“For me, it’s a much better offer and they’re just sending in the killer deals now, which I’d have anyway. Before, we’d have a separate delivery, which came on a larger pallet Now, it comes in on a cage. It’s probably no more than 20 cases in some weeks. Before, I’d get stuff I wouldn’t be able to sell.”

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Some retailers told betterRetailing the value of allocations as part of the change had halved. Alan Mannings, of Shop on the Green in Chartham, Canterbury, added: “It’s a good thing because you’re not getting allocated products that you’re stuck with. Before, we had about £600-worth of stock, but we’re now getting £250-to-£300-worth.”

Amish Shingadia, of Londis Caterways and Post Office in Horsham, West Sussex, described the decision as more “sustainable”.

However, betterRetailing understands the allocations are not sent to stores automatically, so retailers have to order them manually.

One store owner, who asked not to be named, said: “You’ve also got companies such as Walkers, which can’t maintain supply, but are having allocations agreed weeks in advance.

“It’s the same companies Booker is doing deals with, but they are not refreshing them. Customers like a deal, but they also like a change. Most people would buy what’s on offer, regardless of brand. You feel for some of the brands that aren’t being included as part of the allocations.”

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One Londis retailer, who asked not to be named, said the wholesaler is planning to open up the tiers in its ‘Core’ range to include more products.

The ‘Core’ range is a predetermined list of products that Booker classes as must-sell. Premier retailers are also being sent new shelf-edge labels for pricing and promotion.

The newly designed labels were received positively by the symbol group’s retailers.

Multi-site Premier retailer Steve Archer, who is based in the north-west, said: “The new shelf-edge labels are black and white and they look really good.”

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