Britain’s supermarkets, Co-ops and convenience store chains are going for gold and investing in the performance of their back of store areas and supply chains. That’s the upbeat message in this Olympic summer from The Grocery Trader’s quarterly Back of Store feature, bringing you a round up of the latest news and case studies about warehouse and logistics products and services for the grocery supply chain.

David Cameron and colleagues face pressure to rethink their tough austerity approach as we head into a deepening double-dip recession. Meanwhile as ever our leading retailers and their suppliers are way ahead, and have already trimmed the sails of their logistics operations to sail through the choppy seas and turn in a winning performance.

Britain’s consumers are being squeezed in the current economic conditions, and reacting in one of two ways – trading up and buying less, or trading down and buying more. Like marathon runners the multiples are jostling for position in the race for the shoppers’ cash, holding out attractive offers and promotions. And as always the winners in the checkout championships will be those retailers with the strongest, most efficient back of store supply chains, enabling them to keep their fixtures fully stocked.

After the rainy summer and matching damp economy we now need the Olympics to kick off a feel good few weeks. But to realise these potential sales, the stock must be there in the stores to satisfy demand. And that’s never truer than in a situation like this. You need fully stocked stores, backed by a fully functioning supply chain, operating to the maximum efficiency.

Two possible strategies we cover in this feature are reducing spending on transit packaging and cutting down on the energy cost of materials handling equipment. Leasing Returnable Transit Packaging (RTP) can save money from day one, according to LINPAC Allibert. They argue that the savings made by introducing reusable containers can more than cover the cost of the lease. LINPAC Allibert offers a range of long and short-term lease purchase and rental agreements, where customers can choose whether or not to put the finance on their balance sheet and at the end of the lease have the option of returning or purchasing the equipment.

In another route to savings, warehouse managers can now bridge any gaps in their energy requirements without the expense of buying expensive capital equipment. ‘Power Gap’ from GNB Industrial Power is an innovative warehouse truck battery rental service that allows users to borrow batteries on a short, medium, or long-term basis. It is specifically designed to help retailers and other companies with peak working periods, for example around Christmas, when their battery requirements may increase. In this economic climate, it is also ideal for companies at the end of a long-term lease, who do not want to commit to another long-term contract just yet.

The Grocery Trader

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