What do staff think of their store? And what do managers think of their suppliers and head office? All is revealed in HIM's annual managers and staff survey, carried out as part of the Convenience Tracking Programme 2008

In February and March this year retail consultancy HIM spoke to 1,002 convenience store managers and 2,587 store staff at 42 retail formats throughout the UK as part of the Convenience Tracking Programme (CTP) 2008.
The survey covers a diverse range of subjects, including promotions, local competition, staff training and the operational difficulties connected with deliveries and stock replenishment.
HIM marketing manager Georgina Wild says that the results show just how important it is that store operators listen to their staff.
"For me one of the key things to take out of the survey is that 24% of staff said that they were not aware of company developments. Communication is key in any business and retailers need to keep their staff informed.
"They can do this in a number of ways, via a newsletter on the staff notice board or by holding regular meetings. By involving store staff and asking them for their opinions staff will feel more valued. Also staff will be able to pass on the latest information to customers.
"In addition, both store managers and staff would like to see their retail employer work closer with the local community. Could stores offer their elderly customers a home delivery service or actively support local charities not just by donating money but arranging fundraisers? Why not hold health-check sessions in the store, especially in rural areas, and offer tastings of local produce? Could they team up with local suppliers to offer the very best local produce?
"As many as 34% of managers said that they would benefit from security training - this can't be ignored. Training is a must for any employee, and especially new starters, and it doesn't hurt to repeat this training at least once a year for all staff."

Store staff feedback

1. How can your store successfully compete with supermarkets?
Staff friendliness 90%
Speed of service 77%
Ease of shopping 70%
Promotions 56%
Range of services 49%
Range and quality of fresh products 44%
Product availability 43%
Range of local products sold 34%
Price 25%

2. What services should your
store offer, but currently does not?
Photocopier 34%
Utility bill payment 22%
DVD hire 20%
Post office 17%
Gift vouchers (Argos etc) 16%

3. Are you comfortable asking
for ID for alcohol and cigarettes?
Yes 89%
Somewhat 7%
No 3%

How often does someone under
18 try to buy alcohol and cigarettes?
Daily 24%
A couple of times per week 29%
Weekly 14%
Every fortnight 6%
Monthly 7%

4. Which of the following would help you better manage these product categories in your store?
Better labelled outers 27%
Smaller case sizes 16%
More time 13%
More frequent deliveries 13%
Head office advice 4%
Chilled foods
More time 29%
More frequent deliveries 25%
Better labelled outers 22%
Smaller case sizes 11%
Head office advice 4%
Crisps and snacks
More time 30%
Better labelled outers 20%
Smaller case sizes 17%
More frequent deliveries 16%
Head office advice 4%
Frozen foods
More time 27%
Better labelled outers 21%
More frequent deliveries 20%
Smaller case sizes 13%
Head office advice 4%
More time 27%
Better labelled outers 24%
More frequent deliveries 18%
Smaller case sizes 12%
Head office advice 5%

Store manager feedback

1. How can your store successfully compete with supermarkets?
Staff friendliness 95%
Speed of service 85%
Ease of shopping 74%
Product availability 52%
Promotions 52%
Range of services 50%
Range and quality of
fresh products 37%
Range of local products sold 29%
Price 22%

2. What are the priorities/opportunities in the next 12 months?
Attracting more customers 93%
Improving range and quality 68%
Improving product availability 62%
Stocking new products 54%
Working more closely with
the local community 40%

3. What are the difficulties when
implementing promotions?
Promotions don't register at the tills 39%
Lack of space to display on shelves 37%
Running out of stock 37%
Incorrect pos received 33%
Lack of space in stock room 30%

4. sales representatives
Do reps know your store/ neighbourhood well enough?
No 40%
Somewhat 38%
Yes 15%
Do you implement recommendations made by sales reps?
Always 9%
Most of the time 28%
Sometimes 39%
Not very often 11%
Never 6%
How can manufacturers help
stores grow their business?
Provide in store
merchandising solutions 43%
Introduce new ideas 36%
Assistance with product ranges 30%
Assistance with planograms 30%

Who is the most useful supplier?
1. Camelot
2. Cadbury
3. Coca-Cola