As retailers become more ambitious, offering food-to-go, fresh, chilled and more, they're increasingly looking for support from their symbol and fascia partners. In the second part of this sepcial, we talk to retailers and their symbol group representatives to see how they make the best of their partnerships
My Go Local Extra story
Alan Race, Drinks Allowed Go Local Extra, Stockport
I’d seen the potential of craft and real ale, from talking to customers and looking at what other stores were doing. I spoke to my retail development advisor who was able to provide some guidance on what range might work for the area that we are in and how to create an area in my store where we could display the range.
Parfetts were also able to provide point of sale and shelf talkers. It’s helped out Go Local store to become the go-to place for ales in our area and transformed our offer. Increasingly it’s important to have something like this to help you stand out in the market because the competition is growing and margins are getting squeezed.
Giving people one more reason to come through the door is essential. Plus many of these products are made locally and it shows our customers that we really are a focal point for the community. We’re already seeing an uplift in sales as a result.
Guy Swindell, head of customer development and marketing, Parfetts
When Alan approached us to discuss his thoughts on making more of his craft beer offering, we recognised it was a fantastic opportunity.
Our team helped with elements like deciding on the range and providing point-of-sale material. But where we added real value was in enabling Alan to go beyond basic promotion and create a USP.
My Family Shopper story
Radhakrishan Kumar, Family Shopper, Glynneath
I worked with Booker on the opening of my Family Shopper store in Glynneath, in May 2016. Throughout the whole process, Booker were extremely helpful if I needed any information, and my local representative is always there when I need advice, which helped to bring additional footfall into my store. Booker also helped with the merchandising, shop plan and provided planograms.
When it came to merchandising, they also taught me the benefits of an open shelf bay where all the products available are on display for my customers to choose from. And I also made my choice of groups because of Family Shopper’s focus on the core range is really streamlined in their offering – I didn’t want to deal with old stock being kept at the back.
On the store opening, Booker helped with promoting the store with leaflets, hiring a local band to come play outside, face painting and providing free food – it was a successful day. I then went on to opening another two Family Shoppers on the back of the first being a success – we have plans to open another at the end of June 2018.
Robert Butler, Brand director, Family Shopper
Mr Kumar really understands retailing and how to operate fantastic stores. Family Shopper helps retailers run efficient businesses that are easy to maintain, while still offering a full convenience range with fresh, frozen, grocery and impulse. We’re looking forward to continuing to further grow both sales and profits.
My Premier story
Faraz Iqbal, Premier Linktown Local, Kirkcaldy
I had just finished a masters in civil engineering and had to decide whether to continue with this. I knew there was such great potential in my family’s business, a local shop. My parents ran a good business, but didn’t have enough chilled space, for example, and the layout wasn’t organised properly. I could see some improvements were needed, which is why I decided to do a full refit.
Using my engineering skills and my existing retail knowledge, I worked with Premier to plan the refit. We reduced shelving to create additional refrigeration space and increased alcohol and chilled food space. Premier’s advice on these additions was really helpful, and having a full range of food to go, burgers and Discover the Choice products, for example, has helped grow sales of chilled from 5% of our total sales to 25%.
By working with Premier, I was also able to introduce EPoS into the business and fully utilise its capabilities. This automated re-ordering and allowed us to continually monitor and increase efficiency. The biggest challenge for me was getting my parents on board with all the changes I wanted to make, but in the first year our sales grew by 40% and we’ve had a lot of positive comments from customers, so the changes we made have worked.
Martyn Parkinson, Brand director, Premier
It is always a pleasure to work with such innovate and forward-thinking retailers as Faraz and his family. We identified opportunities within the store to help Faraz either ‘make more or save more.’ This included extending the chilled range of food, ensuring the off licence offered on-trend products and making effective use of EPoS.
My One Stop story
Dan Amin, One Stop Hill Tavern, Dudley
We constructed a brand new 2,000sq ft store in Dudley on a former fire-damaged derelict pub site. We were looking for a partner who had a credible national brand that customers already knew well.
We also wanted a concept which could be staff managed, as we are a multi-site retailer. Involving One Stop from the beginning was great because we built it with their operational requirements in mind such as deliveries intake, shop floor layout, including the optimum range, ideal counter position as well as the entrance and exit doors.
One Stop had many meetings with us and kept us updated at every stage of the process from the original application right through to visuals and launch dates. They were even flexible to accommodate when we had a few last-minute delays with the build.
From start to finish, the fit out was around two weeks and we were very impressed with the overall standard. With it being a ‘cold start’ we anticipated it taking a few years to hit target, but our sales are up a massive 53% over the past year and we are confident we can continue to get double-digit growth out of this unit for the next few years.
Sunil Kumar, business development manager, One Stop
As a business we are continually developing our company estate and as a result our franchisees benefit from everything we learn as we grow, whether it be legislation changes, colleague training or new systems and innovation. Our focus is growing sales in company and franchise.
Click here to read the next part of this special report