Sugro UK has scaled back ambitions for its Nearbuy symbol group as it focuses on driving membership of its retail club through loyalty schemes such as ‘Cash Bonanza’.
For the calendar year 2015 the Cheshire wholesale group increased member turnover by 9% to £950m, marking a 14th consecutive year of growth.
Its retail club membership has increased by more than 300 to 2,000+ since the launch of a promotional restructure based on a new technology platform last year.
Managing director Philip Jenkins told C-Store he wanted to focus on Sugro’s strengths, which “probably wasn’t” its symbol group.
About nine Nearbuy stores are in operation in the South West, but Jenkins said he was not looking to actively expand store numbers. Sugro had previously planned to roll out the symbol group nationwide.
“I’ll never turn down a fascia, if a member is interested in Nearbuy then we’ll do it, but it’s not a primary focus. A huge amount of resource is required to maintain symbol groups. Our retail club is as good as having a symbol group, we can sell to anybody with any fascia.”
He said the Nearbuy stores were trading well. “Where the fascia goes up it works, but I’d rather grow the commercial platform.”
Sugro’s new Cash Bonanza initiative enables retail club members to receive cash bonuses of over £160 when they buy promotional products over a three-week period. It may extend the promotion to cigarettes and tobacco, Jenkins said.