Remaining competitive in a turbulent marketplace is more important than ever. Customers are demanding better value for money, more competitive promotions, an extensive range that includes a credible fresh and chilled offer - all packaged within a vibrant shop that provides a fantastic shopping experience. As an independent convenience store owner, it’s essential that you are using your time effectively to maximise sales and grow your business. If you’re not in your store on a regular basis, and you’re spending too much of your day on the road running errands or replenishing stock at the Cash & Carry, it means you’re losing valuable time engaging with your customers and focusing on the bigger business needs, both of which impacts sales. Depending on how far you have to travel, a trip to the Cash & Carry could take up the best part of a day, which isn’t productive if you’re making several trips a week.
Many independent retailers rely on the Cash & Carry for their promotions and purchase in bulk. It’s important to remember that remaining competitive is not just about lowering prices but about promoting value for money. Many retailers worry about promotions as they struggle to find enough time to plan, especially when it comes to seasonal events – meaning that they run with whatever the cash and carry have on offer and this means that you aren’t considering the needs of your customer.
If you’re finding yourself having to sacrifice margin to remain competitive, or worse, increasing your prices to maintain margin, in which you risk appearing expensive to customers, then it might be time to partner with a trusted national brand that has the buying power to offer market-leading promotions with healthy margins.
Having One Stop behind you who plan promotions in advance to include new product launches, seasonal lines and key events that capture incremental sales opportunities, would benefit any retailer.
Kapil Patel joined One Stop at the beginning of February 2015 so he could tap in to One Stop’s buying power in order to compete with supermarket promotions and lower the price of his every day essentials.
“The key benefits that we’ve noticed since we joined One Stop is pricing – now we sell items that are cheaper. Secondly, the promotions are a lot better and the margins are still reasonable, whereas before, we would dread selling promotional lines as we’d have to try and maintain margin.
"During seasonal sales periods, we’ve spotted that promotional activity is quite strong. For example, Christmas and Easter egg sales are quite competitive with the pricing and range. We also started stocking flowers for Valentine’s and Mother’s Day. And of course, we never have to worry about any point-of-sale as One Stop take care of all this.”
If you’re finding that you are spending less time in-store and failing to manage your business to the best of your ability, it may be time to reflect on the points we’ve touched on above to see how you can get your time back to focus on customers and increase sales.
Remember, sometimes change can be a good thing and saving time is key to the future sustainability of your business.