Welcome to the September issue of The Grocery Trader. Modern multiple grocery retailing is a 24/7 environment, where it’s always a good time to sell. But at this time of year there’s the further benefit of some very specific seasonal sales opportunities. The school kids are going back to school. The students are preparing for college. And (whisper who dares) Christmas is just around the corner. Is everybody ready?!
With so much at stake, the emphasis is on maximising the impact of your sales fixtures and getting your shelves dressed to pull in the punters. As Heidi Easton of the SDEA writes in the introduction to our Merchandising & Display feature, Britain’s retail landscape is continuously changing. Until recently it was ‘the bigger the better’ as the leading grocers built huge stores to cater for the weekly shopper. Now consumers are buying little and often, and it’s convenience rather than size that matters. In Heidi’s words, does this mean a return to High Street grocery shopping? Or will shoppers soon be ordering all their groceries from Amazon? Provocative talk perhaps, but the underlying threat is real enough. On-line shopping is eating away slowly at bricks and mortar retailing, and retailers need to ‘tone’ their in-store offering and excite the shoppers again.
Preparing for this new environment is a state of mind the leading suppliers know all about. On our front page Haribo, the world’s largest manufacturer of fruit gums and liquorice products, is taking steps to reduce inventory inaccuracies, improve efficiency, maximise throughput and streamline overall business processes. Haribo has called in BEC (Systems Integration) Ltd to automate their warehouse facility, whilst seamlessly integrating the new solution into its M3 ERP system. Haribo chose Honeywell CK3X mobile computers in conjunction with BEC’s eSmart® Warehouse software to capture and record data for these mission-critical applications.
We’re all used to openness in business between suppliers and customers. But as a nation we still have a long way to go when it comes to being less coy about what we do in the bathroom, as the other story on our front cover reminds us. The latest advert in Andrex toilet tissue’s £10 million multi-channel campaign ‘How Andrex Do You Feel?’ uses quotes from schoolchildren to highlight how difficult adults find it to talk about their toilet habits, unlike children, who have the innocence to express themselves freely. In the words of Matt Stone, Andrex Marketing Manager, this campaign is about “encouraging consumers to consider the importance of proper intimate care to their personal wellness in a fun and light-hearted way.” We wish it well.