It is now a staple part of convenience retailing in stores of every kind, but how do retailers make the most of pricemarking? Alex Yau reports

Narinder Kaur
Premier Narinder’s Convenience Store, Huddersfield

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Narinder’s 800sq ft Premier store is at the centre of a residential area. She is a great believer in the power of the pricemark.

Pricemarking on impulse products helps beat discounters 
We have an Aldi and Lidl nearby and pricemarking our products definitely helps us differentiate us from them. We’re a small shop and need to make the most of the space possible. Pricemarking helps customers at peak times because they can see prices quickly.

It also helps drive basket spend 
When customers realise one product is cheaper than another, it increases the temptation for them to buy more. For example, they’ll often go for the £1 Happy Shopper chocolates because they are better value and offer just as much quality as big-brand alternatives.

Most of my sales come from pricemarked stock
I’d say products with pricing clearly on display make up at least 80% of my overall sales on a weekly basis. In the three years I’ve been open this has probably increased by at least 30% as I have realised families are not too bothered about getting big-brand products if they’re getting value for money. 

Tony Cristofaro
Spar Landmark Place, Cardiff

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Based in Cardiff city centre, clearly displaying the price of products is vital because the bulk of Tony’s customer base comes from students and busy office workers.

Drinks and snacks need clear pricing for me 
We are based in the city centre and more than 80% of our business comes from office workers and students from the nearby university. It tends to be drinks Spar own-brand energy drinks for £1 and Kellogg’s cereal bars at 49p.

The till is still king 
We place them near the till to drive impulse purchases, because our customers are on the go constantly and don’t want to spend ages shopping during their lunch break.

Our pricemarked spirits help us compete with the multiples
We also stock Smirnoff vodka at £14.99, which is particularly popular with local students. It’s a similar price to Tesco nearby and it keeps us competitive with them. 

Vicky Singh
Londis, Mitcham

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Vicky’s store is in a low-income area. Vicky needs to cater to this customer base by making them aware products in his store offer the best value.

Pricemarking is our major focus 
The majority of my customers are on low incomes, so having the cheaper pricemarks is the most effective, such as Milky Bars at £2 for 1, or Poppadoms for £1. We do this throughout the shop and 40% of products are pricemarked. Sales often go up by 20% in January when customers are on tighter budgets because of Christmas and New Year.

Merchandising helps spread a pricemark’s effect
We place them near similar items which are non-pricemarked to give customers the impression they’re getting value for money because the other product is cheaper. 

Pricemarking is helping us sell more premium products
One of the more expensive products which does well is Booker’s Discover the Choice Ready Meal range at two for £5. We started stocking the range in October and they have been doing really well. Sales of the products make up £300 on a weekly basis. 

Meryl Williams
Pike's Newsagent, Porthmadog

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Meryl’s community store utilises pricemarking on categories as varied as greeting cards and on
best-selling essentials such as nappies.

At the top and bottom, pricemarking works well 
Pricemarking works well for us at the value and premium end of categories. Cans of Vimto at £1 or sweets such as Twirl and Wispa at 55p work well, like the puzzles, fishing rods and games we sell at more than £5. The fresh food we have in the mid-range is not really pricemarked as we can make a larger margin of roughly 20% on them. It’s an area which has a wide range of shoppers. Whether they’re looking for a quick addition to their evening meals or ingredients for family dinners – pricemarking is not as important as they’re just picking up the items on their way home.

Busy people are attracted by price
We have banks and offices nearby, so office workers will often pop in for their lunch. They’re busy and need to nip in and out quickly. They don’t mind paying £3.49 for a Nescafé coffee. They do need to know about the price because they have to get back to the office really quickly and don’t want to spend ages querying the price of our products. Pricemarking in general eliminates this issue and customers are less likely to be put off or ignore a product. 

Pricemarking increases trust 
Parents aren’t too concerned about paying £4.99 for Pampers nappies because products such as these are essential purchases. They also trust the brand and the pricemark gives them confidence we won’t overcharge.