The factshouse

  • Name: Hitesh Modi
  • Shop: Costcutter Newsagents
  • Location: Chesham
  • Size: 800 sq ft
  • Staff: 2 full time, 3 paper boys

The IAA’s Gurpreet Samrai joined CCEP’s Tina Childs and retailer Hitesh Modi to help identify improvements to his range.

Hitesh’s challenge:

Hitesh knows his range requires expansion but needs advice on how to do that without competing with the other shops.

Hitesh says:

“We try to introduce different products and services such as the coffee machine, slush machine and a range of American-style sweets, but we know newspapers and magazines are struggling. We want to know whether our 7.5m magazine stand should be reduced, what we’re missing in the shop, what new products could work here and how we can expand our range without directly competing with my father-in-law.”

IAA advice:

1. Review and adjust your core range

Hitesh has four branded fridges in his shop with a wide range of soft drinks. He has all the key brands in bottle, can and carton variants across the fridges, but in one fridge Tina sees sports drinks are on different shelves with higher priced ones on the top shelf and lower priced at eye level. She suggests blocking all the sports drinks together to encourage shoppers to trade up. “Blocking the colas together to make it easier for shoppers and adding a Cherry variant which is often an incremental purchase.”

Tina also notices no added sugar variants in products such as Ribena, and Capri-Sun are missing and suggests Hitesh adds more to offer better choice to consumers.

2. Identify new niche and local products to stock

Hitesh has a 7.5m bay of magazines and says adult colouring in and children’s magazines sell well. “Try putting colouring pencils next to the colouring in titles and introducing collectables toys such as Shopkins to encourage additional purchases,” says Tina. Hitesh says he is keen to introduce other products and suggests expanding the shop’s card range which he sources from three companies including a local business.

“Look at stocking cards from a local supplier featuring landscapes of the area, and other local products to create a point of difference,” Tina suggests.

Tina also suggests Hitesh introduces more seasonal items such as everything you need for a barbecue.

3. Ask customers if there’s anything else they’d like you to sell

With four shops owned by the family on the parade, customers can buy everything from newspapers to food to go and customers go to the different shops for their specific missions.

Hitesh is very engaged with the community and Tina suggests he tap into that to find out what they would like to buy from the CTN. She suggests carrying out a survey with a prize draw to encourage participation.

Hitesh sees this as an opportunity to source customers’ email addresses so he can send them promotions and find out what new products they would like to see in the shop. He adds the surveys can be delivered with newspapers and offered in-store to maximise response.

Partner advice:

“It’s been challenging because all of the shops are connected. They’ve got a really good set up and they’re all good quality. There are opportunities to expand the choice of soft drinks and look at magazines, collectable toys and stationery.

“But they need to get the survey results. You can’t look at this shop in isolation, you need to look at everything because it could mean moving offers from one shop to another.”

Tina Childs, Category planning manager, Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP)

pencilYour action plan:

  • Go to betterretailing.com/IAA to download the free tools to improve your shop
  • Call 020 7689 0600 (Option 3) to find out how you can take part in a future visit from one of our partners
  • To benchmark your shop, download your free digital copy of the IAA’s Retail Profit Guide.

Our retail toolkit is packed with useful tools and resources to help you grow your sales and profits, including the Retail Profit Guide.