Supermarket Suppliers Must Be Range-Review Ready, Says Bridgethorne
The announcement that British supermarket giant Tesco is delisting Kingsmill bread sends a warning to all supermarket suppliers that they must make their contribution to multiples’ range reviews a more central focus for their business, according to category management specialist Bridgethorne.
Although the grocery retailer will continue to stock other products from Kingsmill’s owner, Allied Bakeries, including products from the Kingsmill snack range, the implications of such a prominent brand falling victim to the range review process should not be underestimated.
Tesco stated that it regularly reviewed its ranges to ensure they meet the needs of its customers.
“If the Kingsmill decision demonstrates one thing,” said John Nevens, joint managing director of Bridgethorne, “it is the importance for suppliers to get to grips with the way the multiples work and to ensure that they have the information, the strategies and the practical plans in place to ensure their business meets the needs of the retailer rather than expecting things to work the other way round.”
This places an onus on the supplier to gather and share with the retailer detailed insights which can make a contribution to category and range review planning, he said.
“For example, with the Tesco category re-set programme reaching its activation stage, all suppliers need to be in a state of readiness. They need to prepare for all eventualities: scenario planning; conducting in-depth range assessments; and stakeholder engagement,” explained Nevens.
“This requires in-depth analysis of market and retailer data; using industry leading techniques and the translation of this data into insights aligned to the retailer’s growth aspirations."
In practice, more suppliers need to demonstrate their ability to not only influence shoppers today but also contribute to a discussion with retailers on their category’s future and likely areas of growth, he said.
“We believe clients need to attract new shoppers to a category and more importantly encourage them to buy regularly as this encourages a positive supplier-retailer relationship. This means suppliers looking at and developing insight-based recommendations on range, space utilisation in store, merchandising and activation.”
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