Christmas is coming and depots are gearing up for brisk business. At the Cardiff branch of Landmark member BA Cash & Carry, Premier Foods has been working with staff to ensure retailers' Christmas shopping is stress free by having the right range laid out correctly in the depot.

It's a relationship that's been developing over the past year. Premier channel marketing manager Carla Rampley explains: "We've come a long way in the past year and really improved our relationship with BA, and this can be clearly seen by the 43% value sales growth year on year.

"The launch of Christmas activity is integral to our relationship, and with the additional space we have in depot, the increased number of rack ends, pallet displays and with the eye-catching point of sale, we hope it will be a big success for everyone."

The aforementioned pos material features the company's Winter Winners message. Five-shelf freestanding display units contain five of the six winter winners: Branston, Haywards, Ambrosia, Bisto and Paxo.


Premier's man on the ground at BA is Neil McDonald, business development executive for Premier Foods at Reach, the manufacturer's third-party field sales team.

McDonald has definitely been busy in the depot, which is illustrated by the row upon row of Premier brands. There are lots of pricemarked packs on the shelves as well as plenty of BA 'Extra Special Offers'. "We tryto put in five to 10 'local deals' every month these are promotions that are specific to BA," he explains.

"BA has given us good support so we've worked much closely together this year. New product listings, better visibility and more space have all helped grow the business. The range refresh has brought new customers to the category."

Premier issues a 'Gang of 52' list of recommended lines for cash and carries and BA stocks 94% of these. But, not surprisingly, McDonald is still keen to add new lines, in particular the recently launched Ambrosia Crumble and Jelly puds.

McDonald has been working closely with BA senior buyer Adele Lloyd, who says: "We have improved our ambient offer by developing a promotional programme for Retail Club members and by clearly defining the categories within the grocery fixtures.

"We have allocated rack ends to Premier and given them about 10% more space than 12 months ago."

She says that space was created as a result of increasing the overall space for ambient grocery in the depot and reducing the number of licensed lines.

"As a result, we have seen improved sales. For retailers it means an improved layout that's easier to shop and an increased range."

Beans shoot

In this case the proof of the pudding is in the selling and McDonald reports that new Retail Club activity has seen volume sales of Branston Beans rocket by 176% year on year; Pasta 'n' Sauce shoot up 82% year on year; and Hartleys Jam grow by 20%. In addition, the local deals saw sales of a 95p pricemarked pack of Bisto jump by a staggering 1,046% year on year.