Booker is putting consumer-driven ranging at the heart of a relaunch of the Premier symbol group.

The cash and carry group has identified a core range of 500 national best-sellers that it expects all Premier members to stock. In addition, it has devised a Premier Range Builder tool, ranking products according to sales at the nearest Booker depot, which it will use instead of planograms to help retailers create a bespoke offering. It has also signed a deal with shopper demographic firm CACI to provide detailed profiles of shoppers and their potential spend in each retailer's local area.

Booker director of retail and Premier development Steve Fox said: "It's all about us using our scale to provide retailers with the products their customers want."

The relaunch also sees the introduction of different formats for different sizes of store - large, medium and small (Premier Express) - and the use of dual branding to enable retailers to personalise their outlets more.

Over the next three years, Booker aims to recruit 1,000 new sites to the Premier estate, which currently stands at 2,250 stores.

"In the current climate, the top-end symbol stores with good space and a good location will be under pressure from discounters and increasingly targeted by the multiples," said Fox. "Our heartland is the tier below - independent stores with either good space or a good location, or where there is an opportunity to raise standards. We think this is a good place to be."

Future developments include a bespoke epos system - currently being trialled - a food-to-go solution and increased communication with retailers through regional conferences.

The new Premier ranges and formats have been successfully tested at four stores. Retailers Bal and Bina Ghuman from Brothers Convenience Store in Wolverhampton told C-Store: "We've been in the game a long time and we've had refits before, but nothing has had this level of impact. Customers are now making basket shops instead of just buying the odd item."