Booker’s Family Shopper discount symbol group has been a year in gestation - six months research and six months testing - and now it’s ready to roll out. C-Store went to visit the initial test site operated by Sumerjit Kaur and husband Pal Singh in Bushbury, Wolverhampton
1. The tone is set the moment shoppers enter the store, as the first products they see are special offers from the four-weekly promotional programme.
2. Bread and milk for a pound makes up a central part of the Family Shopper proposition. The store is designed to have key footfall drivers and shopper missions in each of the four corners.
3. The store stocks only 1,700 lines, with every possible line on some kind of multibuy, pricemarking, or special offer. Round pound pricing is everywhere in the store on shelves, aisle ends, and even on the floor.
4. Non-food makes up 500 of the 1,700 lines, with two suppliers delivering via drop shipment. The offer is broken down into core and seasonal ranges, such as this gardening material. Sales have been good, with consistent volumes and a satisfying 40% por.
5. Own brand lines such as Booker’s Euro Shopper make up a big part of the store’s value proposition. In most categories, choice of brand and pack size is restricted.
6. Most shelves are filled with entire trays. This not only helps keep availability high, but is also more efficient as there are usually only three staff on duty - two on the tills and one on the shop floor.
7. Aisle ends are permanent rather than promotional, and communicate a round pound, value message.
8. The fresh and chilled offer is limited, but designed to satisfy all the major shopping missions. Most of the lines are supplied by Booker, with a few additional products coming from Kerry Foods.
9. With a nod to the success of Iceland, the store stocks a strong frozen range. Red and white are the dominant colours as they suggest value and, as in other sections, the aim is to hit key price points every time.
10. The wine range and pricing is kept as simple as possible, with bottles priced at £5, £4 or £3.
11. A limited number of beer brands and pack sizes are stocked - and brand leaders only. Booker controls the range, sets the prices throughout the store, and manages the store’s IT system.
12. Some branded lines are supplied in packs originally produced for multiple discount chains. Where no special pack or promotion is available, the store creates one. Mars bars, for example, are on a permanent ‘2 for £1’ deal.
13. Tobacco stock is pricemarked wherever possible. Sales are good, but tobacco makes up only 20% of the mix.
14. A basic news selection is stocked, and occupies one of the store’s corners to reflect its status as a key shopper mission.
15. There is still room in store for services, including a smart post office counter, National Lottery playstation, cash machine and dry-cleaning service.
16. The store is designed to be a ‘best of both worlds’ hybrid between a discounter and c-store, so long opening hours are important. While the school run and after work are its busiest times, it serves customers right up until 10pm.
17. External graphics shout about the key price points for bread, milk and sugar permanently, and feature a couple of particularly keen offers from the current schedule.
18. Customer reaction has been good. Weekly customer count has risen from 6,000 to 9,000, and turnover is up to £30,000 per week. Booker says it is now looking to roll out the format to retailers with a minimum 2,000sq ft space.