A team effort to boost sales of chilled convenience products at an award-winning, family run convenience store in Redhill, Surrey, has paid dividends.
Holborn’s, a community store in a densely populated area with a mix of private and social housing, teamed up with micro-snacking expert Rustlers and Camelot, one of the UK’s leading independent wholesale distributors (IWDs), to take a fresh look at how chilled convenience products were merchandised.
The results of the 6-week trial exceeded everyone’s expectations, with total chilled convenience sales increasing by 43% and every chilled category on the fixture seeing at least double-digit growth*1.
The trial also involved increasing the shelf presence for Rustlers, the UK’s No.1 micro-snacking brand*2, to cater for different consumption occasions and shopper needs.
Holborn’s owner Dean Holborn has always invested heavily in chilled but recognised there was room for improvement.
“We’ve always had a strong food-to-go offer across both hot and chilled products, with the chiller in a prime, front of store location, offering lots of choice, but we hadn’t got our offer quite right,” he said.
“Siting products next to competitive categories and ranging products by occasion made decision making much easier for shoppers and the results speak for themselves. It shows that the easier you make the shopper experience, the more you should sell.”
Rustlers revamp involved ensuring that all chilled convenience categories had the correct amount of space, merchandised next to competitive categories and ranged by occasion.
For example, micro-snacking is consumed similarly to a sandwich, on its own or with a sweet/savoury snack, therefore sandwiches and micro-snacks should be ranged next to each other on shelf, whilst meat and cheese snacks underneath these, as they’re seen as the accompaniment to a meal.
“We also made sure all pies & pastries, meat snacks and cheese snacks were ranged together to make the shelf clear to the shopper on the role of each category and product. Having drinks in the fixture also created a full meal solution. We also try to range products ‘good, better, best’ and by occasion too, so breakfast to the left of the shelf through to bigger eat products towards the right of the shelf,” says Jess Wilson, Kepak Category Manager.
Camelot is one of more than a dozen IWDs working with Rustlers to enable thousands of convenience retailers to increase sales of chilled convenience products by implementing best-practice merchandising principles.
The Crawley-based company runs a fleet of temperature-controlled vehicles from its 30,000 square feet warehouse, supplying over 1,000 convenience stores throughout the South East.
“We listen to what our customers want and they’re telling us that demand is only going one way for chilled convenience products,” says Rakesh Patel, Head of Business Development at Camelot Chilled Foods, winners of Kepak’s ‘Going For Gold’ IWD sales development programme for each of the last 3 years.
“We want to make sure the retailers we partner with have the very best information and advice to hand and that’s why we’re keen to connect forward-thinking retailers such as Dean with brands like Rustlers that are committed to total category development. Our thanks to go to Dean and other customers who work so closely with us on projects like this.”
The Holborn’s trial forms part of Rustlers’ Merchandising Excellence masterplan which is geared to increasing sales of chilled convenience products across all convenience store formats.
*1 Camelot Chilled Foods Sales Out Data
*2 Nielsen Micro-Snacking Module, Sales Value, 52 WE 7th Sept 2019