When Mars launched its 'feet on the street' campaign two years ago, with sales teams visiting 40,000 independent retailers every four to six weeks, it provided significant help, but regional account manager Peter Morris felt they could still do more. He wanted to team up with a wholesaler to maximise sales in depot and provide its customers with extra support.
He discussed his ideas with Raj Samani, director of Premier Wholesale in Harrow, West London, and senior buyer Babu Jamil, and they agreed to go ahead with two initiatives. In depot they decided to remerchandise the Mars Impulse products, and Morris and Jamil spent a day personally relaying the fixture.
In good order
The aim was to ensure that the top sellers were most prominent and that sufficient space was given to the category so that availability was maximised. The layout was also designed to reflect the order of the planograms for retailers. Morris says this is because retailers tend to go along their shelves writing the list of what they need to buy, and the order in the depot reflects the order that they have written the products down on the list.
The second initiative involved Premier's am2pm symbol group. Mars arranged for its sales teams to visit the am2pm members and help them remerchandise their confectionery displays with the best planogram for the space available.
Rishi Patel, Sky Food and Wine AM2PM, Northwood
"I get regular visits from Mars and we discussed altering the merchandising. It drew up a planogram and we worked on it together. I don't have epos, but I can tell I'm selling more now. It's probably up 15%-20%. On some lines such as Mars and Snickers I'm buying three cases a week when I would have been using about one-and-a-half, but all the products are moving much faster."
Khalid Wazar, Wazar Superstore, Harrow
"My store is opposite a bus stop and near the station. I have a lot of regular customers who buy confectionery as they are passing by. I like the support that we get from our suppliers. It's really useful to get advice on layout and what to stock. We need advice because retailers can't be experts in everything and the suppliers are the ones who know.
Harish Raval, Vilkis AM2PM, West Harrow
"My store is in a residential area of about 600 to 700 houses and there are three schools nearby. We sell a lot of confectionery, with the mums coming in on the way to school and on the way back. We already had good confectionery sales, but Mars has provided advice on layout and merchandising and improved them.
"I like the drop shipment scheme for am2pm because you only have to make one payment. It makes it much simpler."
Anand Soori, AKS Food City, Luton
"I used to run another store in Kensington. I've been in this store for three months and am joining am2pm. One of the reasons is the advice it can provide and the help with merchandising.
"We have a school nearby so confectionery is a good seller. I tend not to try new products when they come out, though. I like to see if they work before stocking them. I don't want to experiment with something that might not sell."