Costcutter Supermarkets Group (CSG) announced the next stage of its Shopper First Programme (SFP) at its annual expo in Harrogate.

SFP offers every partnered store a tailored guide based on local demographics and store format. 

CEO Darcy Willson-Rymer said it will boost sales by 20% “without significant retailer investment” and would “set CSG apart from the other symbol groups”.

Retailers that attended the expo were selected to take part in the first wave of the enhanced SFP, with personalised training material supplied on the day.

Last week, the group announced a 24% sales drop in the past year, blamed on P&H’s collapse. Willson-Rymer said 2018 was ‘a game of two halves’, with the Co-op deal leading to a slight recovery of its store count to 1,560, and a 15% year-on-year sales uptick since the start of 2019.

To drive store sales further, CSG has reduced the stores each business development manager covers from 40 to 25, launched an improved EPoS and announced an upcoming ‘enhanced audit’ of store standards. “We are only as good as our weakest store,” Willson-Rymer said.

Asked about those who refuse to improve, he said the majority would want to, but added: “If somebody doesn’t want to run a really good store, then we’re not the right home for them.”

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