Premier retailers have issued a rallying call to UK suppliers, challenging them to better support small stores in the tough trading climate.

Laying down the gauntlet on behalf of Premier’s retailer forum at the IGD Symbol Group conference earlier this week, Scottish Premier retailer Shaun Marwaha called for more cross promotions and meatier margins.

“Retailers would also appreciate more help in creating in-store theatre, and we need smaller case sizes on slower and more expensive lines,” he said. “This would help to free up our cash flow.”

“We’d also like to see a minimum profit on return (POR) on pricemarked goods,” he added. “Pricemarking is the way forward, shoppers have confidence in it, but we need PORs of between 20% and 30%. When retailers can be confident of getting profits of more than 30% on own label, why would they focus on brands?” he asked.

“Suppliers who support us will get our support. The truth is that we need a 14% margin just to cover our costs, any less than that and we’re losing money, or working for nothing.”

Shaun, who runs three Premier stores in Glasgow, also called on suppliers to help stores incentivise their staff into ‘upselling’ specific products.

“We’ve been pushing upselling in our stores, and have a target of adding £1,000 a week to each store’s sales. This would amount to a lot of extra business for us, but also for the suppliers that supported us. Just think, if every Premier store in the UK worked to the same target of £1,000 of extra sales each week, that could be £145.6m of extra revenue each year,” he added.