Case Study

Maintaining Retailer Listing

Overview of the Situation

The client had spent significant investment in launching a new range into a major supermarket, gained listing in several different formats and supported the retailer with promotional funds for both above and below the line activities. Whilst this was very much a business-as-usual approach for many brands, the range was somewhat niche and in the newly created sector of “breakfast on the go.”

The Problem They Faced

The brand had several ranges already listed, all of which were delivering strong sales, and all new products within these ranges were taken on by the retailer with confidence that they would be successful. The new range however was struggling somewhat to hit the same level of sales, through several reasons, and if these were not corrected, it would be likely that the range would be delisted to make space for a competitor product.

The Causes of the Problem

The issues behind the lack of sales were due to several factors: a general lack of understand by staff and customers about the sector, a lack of understanding of the staff about the product itself and the lack of inventory control from store teams to ensure product availability.

The Impact of the Problem

Not resolving the sales situation would have a simple outcome – delisting the product and greater scrutiny on any future product launches within the retailer.

The Promise / Plan

Our plan for the brand was to:

  • Visit every store where the product was stocked
  • Evaluate the stock inventory levels and ensure they were accurate
  • Train all department staff on the values of the product as well as the best location for them to be displayed
  • Influence stores to change the displays to allow the products to be more visible
  • Test scan the products in every store with stock to ensure that actual sales were not being put through under department codes (meaning the product sales are not recorded against the product itself)

The Outcome

Our programme, over a three-month period:

  • Visited over 600 unique stores
  • Completed nearly 2,000 store visits
  • Spoke to just under 1,400 members of staff
  • Corrected inventory errors in 6% of stores
  • Generated a consistent increase in sales versus the base of 9.7%
  • Removed any concerns from the retailer about listing the product
“I had the opportunity to work with James over several years on a number of projects. He always demonstrated a great ability to maintain customer relationships at the highest level of professionalism. He combined a very good understanding of the operational constraints and an effective capacity to make the right decisions in due time.”

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