INDEPENDENT AND CONVENIENCE UPDATE SEPTEMBER 2012 Retailers get lean to survive tough times
Retailers are reacting to the disappointing summer and economic squeeze with a sharpened focus on ranging and stock management. Some have increased the frequency of their deliveries to reduce stock levels and ease cash flow, while others have cut back their ranges more intensively and increased the regularity of stock checks. “We haven’t got the luxury of cash flow that we had in the past,” said Ramesh Shingadia of Londis Southwater, West Sussex. “It was supposed to be the best summer ever, but it’s been really flat, and then there’s just the general issue of austerity.” However, he claimed that resourceful retailers who worked “leaner and meaner” would pull through. “We’re having to work much smarter. We used to have deliveries three days a week, but in the last six months we’ve moved to six days a week, which means stockholding has gone down a lot.” He warned fellow retailers not to be seduced by deals in cash and carries unless they were positive that the products would sell in store. Vince Maloney of Budgens Ascot agrees: “When business slows down, as it did for us in May, we instantly changed our focus to promotions so as not to lose out. We also stock a huge amount of products from local producers and we have a fantastic relationship with them, so when things do slow down, they understand.” Source: Convenience store 28th August 2012
Indies cash in on Shop Scan Save app
Independent convenience stores are the big winners from Shop Scan Save, the app that pings its 16,000 users daily rewards and offers to cash in at PayPoint stores. Mobilize, which created the app, said 75% of purchases were being made at indies – the result of the number of offers on top-up groceries – such as milk and butter – and treats including chocolate and crisps. The developer also said that 63% of savings, which can be redeemed at over 23,000 stores in the UK, had been made by men. Source: The Grocer 29th August 2012
Asda in the frame for Costcutter alliance
A significant announcement on Costcutter’s future supply deal is expected within days, with Asda the latest multiple retailer to be linked to the group. The current contract with Nisa expires in the summer of 2014, and C-Store understands that there are two options left under consideration: a renewed deal with Nisa, or a strategic alliance with a multiple operator, thought to be Asda. Earlier discussions with Morrisons are believed to have foundered because the multiple wanted to acquire Costcutter’s company-owned stores, whereas owner Bibby Line Group plans to retain and ultimately increase the size of the estate. An alliance with Asda would be more workable as it is the one large multiple yet to commit to building a cstore division, and could provide low-cost product sourcing while Bibby handled the delivery logistics. Source: Convenience store 12th September 2012
INDEPENDENT AND CONVENIENCE UPDATE SEPTEMBER 2012
Londis retailers hope for top marks with new back to school scheme
Londis retailers are hoping to make the most of the school run opportunity with a new receipt-based initiative. By dropping their store receipts in special collection boxes at their local schools, Londis shoppers can help to raise funds for a variety of useful financial or product donations. “The school run is a key time of day for Londis retailers,” Londis sales director Paul Courtney said. “It’s important we help them capitalise on this. The receipt initiative is an important tool in helping our retail partners to further engage their local communities.” Retailers will also receive Back to School kits including lunch box recipe cards for shoppers and puzzle cards for children. “With three in five primary school children having packed lunches in the UK, the Londis recipe cards aim to help make mums’ lives easier by offering inspiration for lunch box ideas,” Courtney added. “Complementary shelf wobblers help signpost recipe products in store, whilst Londis puzzle and activity cards means there is something for the younger children too.” Source: Convenience store 5th September 2012
Community involvement – a class act
In the current climate, with both a sluggish economy and the proliferation of multiple competitors to deal with, engaging with the local community is no longer just a nice thing for independent stores to attempt, it is essential for their ongoing success. A recent poll by the Association of Convenience Stores under its Voice of Local Shops initiative found that 89% of retailers have engaged in some form of community activity, the highest proportion since the survey started in February. “Civic leadership through effective community engagement is absolutely essential to the success of modern convenience stores,” says ACS chief executive James Lowman. And nowhere sits at the heart of the community more than schools. By earning the school’s trust and respect, you’re reaching out to children and their parents and in turn the shoppers - and staff - of today and tomorrow. Source: Convenience store 12th September 2012
SO WHAT SHOULD WE DO?
Encourage our field teams to leverage the economic downturn in conversations about range rationalisation Highlight to our clients the growth of m-commerce and the potential opportunity of the Shop Scan Save app Look for ways that Independent retailers can use our client’s brands in community engagement initiatives Review levels of promotional participation, especially within affiliated Independent retailers – are they implementing the promotions that our clients have agreed with head office?