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2 Minutes with Dan Brown | Bolt Learning’s Virtual Reality | 1 in 8 retailers plan to flout the law









*You are free at all times to sell JTI products at whatever price you choose. Previous Club RRP £10.55, new RRP for Kensitas Club £7.65 effective from 29 th January 2018.


Is VR on its way to a store near you?



New Pinkie Farm MD on his latest challenge



Book now for the tech event of the year

BOOKER BOSS TAKES OVER AT TESCO Charles Wilson named UK boss of Tesco



Woodlands Local trials cut-price Kensitas Club

With the new sugar tax approaching we consider what it will mean in-store for local retailers. #ThinkSmart 2 – book your FREE place now at

# Th i n kSm a r t


The UK’s leading tech, data, digital and loyalty conference for the convenience trade returns. Be there. Reserve your place now at Free for retailers. 19th March, 2018 Glasgow Science Centre For more information, contact To find out about sponsorship, exhibiting and speaking opportunities, contact Antony at

February 2018


Contents ISSUE 178

NEWS p6 p7 p8 p10 p12 p22 p24 p26

All change at Pinkie Farm Dan Brown to head up store as award-winning retailer Colin Smith bows out. Legal protection moves closer MSP proposes new legislation to protect retail staff from violence at work. Illicit tobacco in spotlight Parliamentary group hears that the illicit trade is ‘twice as profitable as drug smuggling’. Jobs boost for Scotland A £28m investment from the Co-op will lead to 18 new stores and 275 jobs. News Extra Scottish Crime Report The SGF’s latest survey is a grim read for retailers. Product News Nestlé introduces a mug called Joe, and Oreo starts a quest targeting young adult shoppers. Off-Trade Diageo looks for retailers to fulfil home delivery orders as it launches partership with UberEATS. Newstrade The government investigates the future of the newspaper marketplace.





INSIDE BUSINESS p32 Research Digest One in eight retailers plan to flout the law by continuing to charge customers for card transactions. p34 2 Minutes Of Your Time Dan Brown The new Managing Director of Lothian Stores reveals his plans for Pinkie Farm. p36 SLR Rewards 2018 It’s time to enter the most Rewarding awards in retail. p39 SLR Rewards 2017 £500 of High Street vouchers came in handy for our house-moving E-cigs Retailer of the Year. p40 ThinkSmart Update The list of speakers continues to grow for SLR’s retail tech, data and digital conference. p42 Virtual Reality Bolt Learning’s Luke Merrick explains how VR can improve the running of a modern c-store. p44 Woodlands Local The latest update from SLR’s store in Falkirk. p48 Hotlines Our monthly round-up of the latest new products to launch into convenience. p54 Under The Counter What’s got under the Auld Yin’s increasingly-thin skin this month?




FEATURES 9209RB_Bestway Platinum Retailer Brochure 210x280 v1 FINAL.indd 1


p50 Sports & Energy Manufacturers are working hard to energise this solid category with low- and no-sugar lines. p52 Cakes & Biscuits The continuing popularity of the Big Night In is driving NPD in these valuable categories.

ON THE COVER p18 The Sugar Tax The response from manufacturers has been varied as some reformulate, some launch new products and some do nothing.



News RETAILERS Dan Brown returns to Musselburgh as Colin Smith bows out

Clydebank cash point bandit ‘critical’ A bungling robber was left with life-threatening injuries after attempting to blow up an ATM machine in Clydebank. The botched robbery took place at the Premier store on Glasgow Road on January 11. The 51-year-old man suffered serious head and facial injuries in the explosion, and was taken to the QEU hospital. A second man has been charged in connection with the incident.

Border bakes up better work/life balance for staff Biscuit manufacturer Border has started a new five-day production schedule that gives its 150 staff weekends off. Under the new system, staff work one of two eight hour shifts each weekday between 6am and 10pm. The new rota also means weekends are free for deep-cleaning and

All change at Pinkie Farm Multi-award-winning retailer Colin Smith has said farewell to the Pinkie Farm Convenience Store in Musselburgh – and has been replaced with former Giacopazzi Kinross manager Dan Brown. Colin ran the store since it was first built nearly four years but has sold his stake in the business to fellow investor and business partner Lindsay Sands. Commenting on the sale, Colin said: “Pinkie has taken up the past four years of my life and it’s been a joy to put into practice my ideas and advice that I had been giving to retailers over the previous 15 years working in the wholesale sector. I’ve achieved my goal of setting up and running my own business and

hopefully helped to shape the move in convenience retail from not just a grocery-focused business but to that of fresh food-on-the-go. “I admit that it’s not been an easy ride and I have respect for every independent retailer out there. Lindsay, who already owns the David’s Kitchen stores in Glenrothes and Falkirk, is excited to have increased his share of the business and said that “Colin has created a fantastic store, focusing on fresh, local produce and creating a store that is truly embedded within the local community. Our plan is to continue building on this foundation and develop further Colin’s existing plans for food on

the go and future store extension.” Dan Brown, who originally helped Colin launch Pinkie Farm back in 2014, is taking to the helm as its new Managing Director. After leaving Pinkie in late 2014, he worked for Scotmid in various managerial positions before opening and managing the new Nisa store with the Giacopazzi’s in Kinross in 2016. With Dan’s knowledge and experience of both the retail and food to go market, he is well positioned to take on the Pinkie challenge. Colin said: “Dan is a good friend and I know he will serve the business, staff and community well. And this opportunity gives him even more freedom to implement ideas that we’ve both talked about, as well as those he’s seen on his travels”. Colin plans to enjoy a wellearned break, before seeking a new challenge within the retail or wholesale sectors.

any maintenance. WHOLESALERS Former P&H staff find new jobs

New Retail Director for Motor Fuel Group Forecourt operator Motor Fuel Group (MFG) has announced the appointment of Paul Dennis as its new Retail Director. Dennis will be responsible for improving MFG’s retail range and customer offer. His 30-year career in retail has included stints with Sainsbury’s, Asda, Central England Co-operative and most recently, Conviviality Retail.

Spar sponsors British Athletics Spar has signed a three-year sponsorship deal with British Athletics that will see it offer wide-ranging support through to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and beyond. As part of the agreement, Spar will become Title Partner of the British Athletics Indoor Championships for the next three years. It will also act as Events Partner to the end of 2020, which will see it supplying meals for staff at this year’s Müller Indoor

Bestway launches Van Sales division Bestway Wholesale has started a new van sales operation following the demise of P&H’s Snacksdirect and Sweetsdirect businesses. The business will service over 20,000 retail customers with a fleet of 180 vans that Bestway bought from P&H’s administrators. Vans will call on retailers every fortnight. The new outfit will be led by Noel Robinson, who previously headed up the P&H operation. He will report directly to Bestway boss Martin Race. Besides Robinson, many former P&H staff have been taken on by Bestway. Race said the Van Sales division was a “welcome addition” to Bestway’s business and would strengthen its ability to supply its customer base. “We feel the launch of this new service to customers will be a great fit for us in delivering our future growth plans and building on our already close relationships with customers.” AWARDS MBE for John Brodie for charity work

Scotmid chief honoured Scotmid CEO John Brodie was awarded an MBE in the 2018 New Year Honours list. The award is for services to business and the voluntary sector. At the start of the year Brodie also became Chairman of the Scottish Retail Consortium, succeeding Andrew Murphy. Scotmid recently raised ffunds for the Samaritans and Cash for Kids charities through sales of a joke book.


Booker’s Wilson to head up Tesco Booker boss Charles Wilson is to become CEO of Tesco’s UK and Irish retail and wholesale operations once the two companies merge. Matt Davies continues as Tesco chief until completion of the £3.7bn deal, which is expected around March 5, before stepping down prior to leaving the company at the end of April. Dave Lewis said: “I am delighted Charles will be joining the Tesco Board and Executive Committee. He brings substantial commercial and retail experience and has an exceptional track record of increasing performance and driving growth in customerfocused businesses. Charles is ideally suited to lead the UK & ROI business for the combined group in the next phase of our turnaround.”




News LEGISLATION Proposed Protection of Workers Bill out for consultation

Law to protect shop workers moves closer MSP Daniel Johnson has launched a proposal for new legislation to protect retail staff from violence while at work. The proposed Protection of Workers Bill is now open for public consultation. The bill would create new offences regarding shopworkers and others who are involved in the sale and supply of age-restricted goods and services. Johnson – the Scottish Labour Party frontbench spokesperson on Justice – had support from shop workers’ union Usdaw and the Scottish Grocers Federation in the preparation of the consultation. It marks the first stage of a parliamentary process which could see a draft bill being voted on by MSPs towards the end of 2018. A 2017 survey commissioned by

JPS could make your day As part of its recent launch of the JPS enhanced cigarettes range, Imperial has been asking retailers ‘What would make your perfect day?’ through a new UKwide competition. Prizes include trips abroad, experience days, sporting events, tech and fine dining. Retailers can enter online at Entries close on March 30, 2018. No purchase of stock is necessary.

Charles Darwin tenner faces extinction The Bank of England’s paper £10 note featuring Charles Darwin

Under Age Sales, Usdaw and the NFRN – which also welcomed the bill – revealed that 50% of store workers in Scotland encounter verbal or physical abuse at least once a year due to asking customers for ID when purchasing age-restricted products. Johnson, pictured at the launch with SGF’s John Lee and Pete Cheema, said: “The issue of violence and abuse against workers continues

to grow, and many workers have told me that they now see it as just part of the job. My bill aims to provide legislative solutions, by creating new offences for those who assault or abuse workers. “I would encourage anyone who can to contribute to the consultation at and have their say on how we can protect workers.”

will stop being legal tender on March 1. From March 2, retailers will no longer have to accept the note as payment. With the note’s withdrawal from circulation imminent, the Bank of England is urging retailers to clear out safes and start banking its paper tenners. The defunct notes will be recycled and used as compost.

APPOINTMENTS Replacement for Gallacher revealed


Mark Steven moves to Scotfresh

Good Christmas for Booker

CJ Lang boss resigns

Booker Group had a “good” third

Scott Malcolm, CJ Lang’s Managing Director, is stepping down after nine years in the role. The company’s Trading Director, David Lamb, will take over the reins on an interim basis until a successor for Malcolm is in post. Malcolm, who has been with Lang’s for 31 years, stated “it has been a privilege to work for such a tremendous organisation for such a long period of time and a great honour to serve as Managing Director. “I am very grateful for the backing I have enjoyed from our shareholders and greatly indebted to so many loyal and dedicated colleagues for their support in helping to achieve very creditable results during such a challenging trading period. I wish David every success in his new role and am looking forward to working with him in the coming weeks to achieve a seamless handover.”

update for the 16 weeks to

Scotfresh has named industry veteran Mark Steven as its new Managing Director. Steven brings a wealth of retail and wholesale experience to the role having held senior positions with Scottish multi-site operators Botterills (Spar) and KeyStore (Park’s). He has also recently worked for convenience and fuel technology firms Oracle and Point Four. He steps into the shoes of Chris Gallacher, who is now United Wholesale (Scotland)’s new Operations Director.

Steven said he was joining one of the leading names in convenience retailing in Scotland at an “exciting and crucial” time in its development. Welcoming Steven to the Scotfresh family, company Chairman Shaun Marwaha said: “Mark brings to Scotfresh an enthusiasm for new ideas, fresh thinking and a passion for retailing that he will use to scale up the business as we progress with the next phase of our longterm growth strategy.”

quarter, according to its trading December 29, 2017. Group non-tobacco sales rose by 5.9% with non-tobacco like-for-likes up 6.2%. Group tobacco sales declined by 2.6% with tobacco like-for-likes down 2.1%. This resulted in total sales growing by 3.4%, while like-forlikes climbed by 3.8%.

IGD launches guide to nutrition information IGD has launched a new guide to help consumers better understand front-of-pack nutritional information. The guide contains simple messages and images that tackle areas of confusion around the nutritional information displayed on the front of food packaging. It has already been adopted by some of the biggest companies in the food and grocery industry.



News TOBACCO Illicit trade links to organised exposed

MFG adds Esso Independent forecourt operator Motor Fuel Group is rebranding 80 of its sites to Esso after signing a deal with fuel supplier Greenergy. Conversions start this month and will be completed mid-May. Simon Davis, MFG’s Fuel Operations Director, said: “We look forward to working with Greenergy who were able to give us a highly competitive deal that now enables us to provide an enhanced fuel offer to our customers and the attractive Tesco Clubcard loyalty scheme.”

Festive sales surge for Nisa Nisa saw sales rise by 17.7% to £277m over the Christmas period (10 weeks to December 31, 2017). The strong trading performance reflected an increase of 269 stores served. Organic growth of 106 stores was boosted following the P&H collapse with new contracts to supply 140 Costcutter and 23 McColl’s stores.

New water contract leaves MRH feeling flush MRH has signed a three-year nationwide water and wastewater contract with Wave, following a Scotland-only deal that saved the forecourt operator £23,000 over the same period of time. The new deal is expected to save MRH at least £67,000. Amongst the services included in the new contract is Wave’s Active Water Management solution, which helps companies identify high consumption or unusual water usage patterns.

Colman’s of Norwich to close after 161 years Unilever is to close its Colman’s Mustard factory in Norwich by the end of 2019. Production will move to sites in Burton on Trent and Germany. To keep links with Norwich, Unilever will open a new facility to mill mustard seeds. The closure will lead to 50 redundancies, with 43 jobs transferring to Burton and 20 to

Illicit tobacco ‘twice as profitable as drug smuggling’ Selling illicit tobacco is now more profitable – and carries less risks – than drug smuggling. That was the uncompromising message delivered to the SGF Scottish Parliament Cross Party Group on Independent Convenience Stores (January 24). In a hard-hitting presentation given jointly by Police Scotland and HMRC, the Group was told that an ‘investment’ of £1,000 in distributing illicit tobacco provides a return of at least £40,000 – making illicit tobacco twice as profitable as drug smuggling. The Group also heard that illicit trade is now inextricably linked to serious organised crime and that products ranging from cancer treatment medications, children’s toys and baby milk formula are all now being counterfeited. HMRC recently confiscated a shipment of three million illicit cigarettes smuggled into Scotland. The key speaker at the CPG

meeting was Kenny MacAskill, the new Chair of the Scottish Anti Illicit Trade Group. His message was just as blunt: “Make no mistake, illicit trade impacts on every sector of the economy”. MacAskill is a former Justice Minister and during his time in office was instrumental in the initial moves to create the Anti Illicit Trade Group. His appointment to the Chair is widely expected to give the issue of

PLANNING APPLICATIONS C-stores ahead from Aldi and Lidl?

Discounters lead the race for retail space Aldi and Lidl continue to press ahead with their ambitious growth plans, with the two combining for a total of 128 planning applications submitted for new stores across the UK in 2017. Worryingly for local retailers, the applications submitted are predominantly for smaller c-stores. According to data from industry analysts Barbour ABI, Lidl submitted 68 planning applications for new stores last year, followed closely by Aldi with 60. The traditional ‘Big Four’ retailers lagged behind with a meagre total of 20 planning applications (Tesco eight, Sainsbury’s seven, Morrison’s four and Asda one). Property

cost issues and an excess of floor space from larger stores has contributed to the scaling back from the mults. The planning applications from Aldi, Lidl and the Big Four shows that the majority of the few plans for larger stores came with extra units for other retailers, cafés, petrol stations and leisure opportunities. Whilst the mults have seen little growth in their shop floorspace over recent years, 2017 was a year of scaling back for Aldi and Lidl, in comparison to their space-hungry years of recent memory such as 2015, when the discounters submitted a combined total of 205 planning applications for new stores.

illicit trade a higher political profile. SGF Head of Public Affairs Dr John Lee said: “The CPG meeting brought the issue of illicit trade directly into the Scottish Parliament. The presentation from the enforcement agencies was a frightening insight into the scope and scale of illicit trade. We hope this is the beginning of a fuller recognition of the impact on businesses, and that illicit trade is a genuinely serious problem.”


PayPoint growth trend continues PayPoint continued to deliver profitable growth during the last three months of 2017, helped by a jump in MultiPay transactions and an improved client mix. For the quarter to December 31, the Group’s like-for-like net revenue grew 3.6% to £31.8m, with PayPoint One driving UK retail services like-for-like sales growth of 4.6%. The PayPoint One platform is now live in 7,459 sites, and is on target to hit the 8,000 installation mark by the end of March. Over 100 stores are now using the new Epos Pro software, which launched in November. A partnership with the Association of Convenience Stores means that the ACS Assured Advice programme, which offers support on all aspects of regulatory compliance, can now be accessed via PayPoint One. PayPoint’s CashOut service has also expanded, with the Department for Work and Pensions joining the client roster.




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News STORE OPENINGS £28m investment leads to 18 new Co-ops

New Chairman for Scotland Food & Drink Scotland Food & Drink has named Dennis Overton as its new Chairman, effective from April 1. He succeeds David Kilshaw, who retires from the role after a three-year stint. Overton has spent three years as Scotland Food & Drink’s Vice Chair and is one of the founding directors of the organisation. He has been on the board since 2007. Overton co-founded Scottish seafood business Aquascot in 1987. He chaired the UK Soil Association from 2014 to 2017 and he was awarded an OBE in 2014 for contributions to economic development in the

Co-op to create 275 new Scottish jobs The Co-op will open 18 brand new Scottish stores and upgrade a further 20 this year. The £28m investment is set to create 275 jobs and will take the total number of Co-op employees in Scotland to almost 6,000. New stores are lined up for Forres, Kilmacolm, Kelty, Glasgow and Edinburgh, amongst other locations. “We invested heavily in Scotland in 2017 and we’re delighted to be ramping up activity yet again in 2018,” said John McNeill, the Coop’s Divisional Managing Director. “Such sustained investment is indicative of our long and proud history in Scotland – we are passionate about serving the many

diverse communities across the country and want to give shoppers the opportunity to buy what they want, when they want it, in great looking stores that also give back to the community.”

The Co-op’s expansion north of the border forms part of its UK-wide plans to invest £160m in 100 new stores and 150 store makeovers in 2018, creating an estimated 1,600 jobs.

Highlands and Rwanda. VAPING Clinical trial finds ‘no serious health complications’ in former smokers

Sewell signs up with Bolt Sewell on the go is the latest c-store chain to sign up for online staff training with Paisley-based tech start-up Bolt Learning. The Sewell Group operates 12 stores in and around Hull, and has previously featured in the Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For list. Other retailers and wholesalers who have recently partnered with Bolt include McColl’s, MRH, Parfetts and JJ Food Service.

Stoats customers feed African school for a year Oats company Stoats has completed its charity campaign Pot for a Pot, in partnership with Mary’s Meals, and has raised enough funds to feed a school in Liberia, West Africa, for an entire year. All 300 children attending Bambo Town Primary School will each receive a nourishing meal every day for an entire year. Customers helped achieve the milestone by buying Stoats Original Porridge Charity Pots. The Pot for a Pot campaign was founded around World Porridge Day, which is a global celebration of one of Scotland’s favourite dishes and directly

E-cigs don’t harm smokers, new clincial study finds A new study has found that regular use of e-cigarettes doesn’t adversely affect the health of smokers. The snappily-titled “Evaluation of the Safety Profile of an Electronic Vapour Product Used for Two Years by Smokers in a Real-life Setting” was published in the February edition of the scientific journal Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology. A clinical trial examined 209 volunteer smokers who replaced cigarettes with a typical closedsystem e-cigarette for 24 months while researchers monitored for adverse events, as well as lung function, electrocardiogram results, and exposure to nicotine and tobacco constituents. “This study shows that after two years of continual e-cigarette use, there were no signs of serious health complications in smokers,” said Tanvir Walele, Director of Scientific Affairs at Fontem Ventures, the owner of e-cigarette brand blu. During the trial, which Fontem funded, no serious safety concerns were recorded among the participants and no clinically relevant findings were observed in all other medically-defined safety criteria. Further, the use of the vaping products was associated with a

reduction in nicotine withdrawal symptoms, reduced exposure to cigarette smoke constituents, and no increase in body weight. “Clinical data over a two-year period gives us a much clearer picture about longer term vaping, and the potential implications for the health of smokers, so they can make an informed decision,” said Walele. A recently updated Cochrane Review, whilst acknowledging the small number of published clinical studies currently available, reached a similar conclusion to this study: that e-cigarettes with nicotine can help smokers to reduce or replace smoking with no increased health risks associated with short- to midterm (up to two years) use. Cochrane is an independent organisation that collates medical research findings. Walele said that regulatory frameworks should reflect the emerging scientific consensus, as more long-term research demonstrates the safety of e-cigs. “We need e-cigarette regulation that is not modelled on tobacco product regulation, but encourages innovation and compliance with robust product quality, manufacturing and safety standards.”


‘Leave promos alone’ SGF warns Government Scottish Grocers Federation has warned the Scottish Government that imposing restrictions on promotions would have considerable costs to convenience retailers and would damage a store’s ability to tailor to meet customer demands and expectations. SGF was responding to the government’s consultation on a new Diet and Obesity Strategy. Its submission also highlighted a lack of any real evidence that restricting promotions would have a positive effect on diet-related health. SGF Head of Public Affairs Dr John Lee said: “Promotions enable retailers to differentiate themselves, stay competitive and respond to the needs of their customers. “It is important that the government accurately understands the role and context that convenience stores play in relation to customers’ daily lives and shopping habits.”






“Nisa are world class when it comes to delivery. We’ve always enjoyed over 95% of deliveries arriving on time and in-full, so have never had issues with availability or stock. But when Nisa suggested that we switch to the new Nisa store of the future format we couldn’t have predicted what an impact it would have, it really has taken our business to the next level. The Nisa team remodelled the whole store to take advantage of extra space made possible by a reduction in size to our stock room. It was a big jump, but the move was made possible due to the reliability and frequency of Nisa’s deliveries, meaning we could easily work around the smaller stock room and maximise our selling space.

Nisa carefully worked out the range by identifying the main missions first, then location and category space. Only then was range selected. The promotions that Nisa provide are perfect for our customers and mean we can offer real value on the products our customers want to buy every day. The results have been a hit with the locals. The customers love what we’ve done here and they tell us that they feel the store is larger and more open than before, so we want to adopt the same format across our portfolio.”

Join the family... visit

Nisa’s phenomenal delivery service is unrivalled and better than we could ever have expected. Anish Keshwara, Nisa Local, Whittlesey

News Extra

Retail Crime | SGF Scottish Crime Report

NewsExtra CATCH UP ON THE LATEST NEW PRODUCTS TO HIT SHELVES – P48 CRIME SURVEY In-store abuse reaches unprecedented level

Convenience Matters with the SGF The Scottish government’s ‘report card’ in terms of its interaction and impact on the convenience sector doesn’t always make happy reading: tobacco display ban, standardised packaging, deposit return, for example. However, putting effort into finding allies and supporters within the government can be very worthwhile. March 1, 2018 sees the launch of the SGFScottish government Capital Investment Programme for c-stores. We have managed to secure an investment by the government of £250,000. This will provide matched-funding for retailers to enable them to install a new food to go station. It will help retailers to innovate, to meet changing customers demand and stay competitive. There are criteria to meet but these are simply to encourage retailers to think about using locally-sourced produce and to have an emphasis on healthy eating as part of the food to go offering. Monitoring and evaluation will be light touch – there’s an awareness in government that ‘traditional’ food to go favourites are a very important part of the overall offer to customers. Two years ago, SGF managed to leverage in £100,000 of grant funding from the Scottish government to enable retailers to carry out eco-friendly and energyefficient store refits. We know that, realistically speaking, once money is distributed it’s not a huge amount of funding. But equally we think it is safe to say that no other trade association in the UK is providing this kind of direct financial support to its members through an effective partnership with government. Get involved and make sure your store benefits. If the programme is seen to be a success, there is much more chance of it being continued.



‘100% of retailers’ experienced retail crime in 2017

The latest Scottish Crime Report published recently by the SGF makes for alarming reading once more with every single respondent experiencing retail crime in the last year.

Total cost of retail crime In 2017 the total cost of crime to the participants of the survey was

The latest annual Scottish Crime The report discovered that the Report has been published by the -------------------- biggest triggers for abuse, both Scottish Grocers’ Federation (SGF) verbal and physical, were the £1.1 million and makes for very harrowing refusal of sale and asking for -------------------reading. While an astonishing proof of age. Some 69% of weekly Break-ins £4,500 100% of retailer respondents physical and verbal abuse cases -------------------reported having experienced reported were linked to refusal Violence £6,500 retail crime in 2017, the standout of sale, while abuse triggered -------------------finding is the fact that some by asking for proof of age was Vandalism £39,000 99% of respondents also admit also cited as the cause of 69% of -------------------to having experienced incidents incidents on a weekly basis. Theft £1.05m of violence and physical abuse The issue of retail crime has -------------------during that period. been brought to the fore in recent Shoplifting remained the weeks through proposals by Daniel most common form of crime with 97% of stores Johnson MSP for new legislation in the Scottish experiencing theft daily and the total cost of Parliament to protect shop workers from violence. shoplifting to all respondents in 2017 reached an SGF has worked closely with the Edinburgh MSP incredible £1.05m. to develop the proposals and has described them as The annual survey breaks in-store crime down a ‘once-in-a-generation opportunity to create a safer into seven specific categories: retail environment’. Q Shoplifting Retailers wishing to contribute to a consultation Q Break-ins around Daniel Johnson’s proposed bill should visit Q Violence against staff and play their part in Q Armed robbery helping forge this new legislation that would go a Q Store vandalism long way to affording shop workers the protection Q Verbal/physical abuse when sale refused they deserve when they are being asked to police Q Verbal/physical abuse when proof of age and manage the sales of age-restricted products inrequested store.



EDITORIAL Publishing Director & Editor Antony Begley 0141 222 5380 | Web Editor Findlay Stein 0141 222 5389 | Editorial Contributor Karen Peattie

Let’s face it, if you work in a shop in Scotland you already know that abuse, threats and violence are an everyday occurrence. It’s been that way for as long as any of us can remember and the saddest fact of all is that it has almost become normalised. It happens so often and the authorities have long shown so little interest in dealing with it that most of the time retailers don’t even bother reporting it. Can you think of any other jobs – possibly bouncers outside pubs – where staff can fully expect to be abused and debased as part of their working lives? It’s time that this sorry state of affairs was put right – and that’s why I’m urging every retailer in Scotland to support MSP Daniel Johnson’s groundbreaking consultation into creating new Protection of Workers legislation that will help protect shopworkers under the law. This is truly a once-in-a-generation opportunity for retailers to have their say and make sure that the Scottish Parliament understands the scale and nature of the problem. To have your say, simply visit and record your own experiences. And I’m guessing that there will not be a single retailer out there that doesn’t have a relevant and often harrowing story to tell. From my own experiences at Woodlands Local, at least half a dozen incidents immediately spring to mind. Johnson, supported by the SGF, has done a lot of work getting the Bill to this stage. Now it’s up to us to help get it over the line and into law. The SGF Crime Seminar at Tulliallan Police College in Kincardine recently saw the launch of the annual Scottish Crime Report. It makes for some pretty distressing reading: 99% of respondents reported incidents of violence and physical abuse in-store during 2017. The biggest catalyst for these incidences was around refusal of sales or requesting ID on age-restricted products. The logic here is pretty simple. If retailers are the ones required to do the front-line policing of age-restricted sales, the very least that they deserve is some protection under the law. We all know that demanding ID or refusing sales can easily lead to uncomfortable situations and worse. There isn’t a retailer in Scotland who hasn’t experienced that first-hand. Let’s do ourselves a favour and help Daniel Johnson get this Bill into law. Don’t put it off. Do it now. Go open your PC and take a few minutes to record your experiences at You’ll be doing yourself, your staff and all of your industry colleagues a big favour. It’s time we spoke as one on this and it’s time we made our voices heard.


ADVERTISING Advertising Manager Susan Dignon 0141 222 5384 |

DESIGN Design & Digital Manager Richard Chaudhry 0141 222 5388 |

EVENTS Events & Operations Manager Cara Begley 0141 222 5381 |

CIRCULATION & SUBSCRIPTIONS Scottish Local Retailer is distributed free to qualifying readers. For a registration card, call 0141 222 5381. Other readers may obtain copies by annual subscription at £50 (UK), £62 (Europe airmail), £99 (Worldwide airmail). 55 North Ltd, Waterloo Chambers, 19 Waterloo Street, Glasgow, G2 6AY Tel: 0141 22 22 100 Fax: 0141 22 22 177 Website: Twitter: DISCLAIMER The publisher cannot accept responsibility for any unsolicited material lost or damaged in the post. All text and layout is the copyright of 55 North Ltd. Nothing in this magazine may be reproduced in whole or part without the written permission of the publisher. All copyrights are recognised and used specifically for the purpose of criticism and review. Although the magazine has endevoured to ensure all information is correct at time of print, prices and availability may change. This magazine is fully independent and not affiliated in any way with the companies mentioned herein. Scottish Local Retailer is produced monthly by 55 North Ltd.

© 55 North Ltd. 2018 ISSN 1740-2409.




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Sugar Tax

Cover Story


The tax on sugary drinks comes into force in April and the impending deadline has prompted a flurry of activity from manufacturers as some reformulate, some launch new products and some carry on regardless. BY KAREN PEATTIE


ast your mind back to the government’s Budget two years ago when George Osborne, the chancellor at the time, announced that a tax on sugary soft drinks would be introduced in the UK from April 2018. The health lobby celebrated, long-time campaigners rejoiced as the chancellor declared the government was committed to tackling rising rates of obesity and type 2 diabetes and high-profile celebrity chef Jamie Oliver was most likely dancing in the streets. A vocal and robust proponent of the cause, the influential restaurateur’s sugar rush clearly struck a chord with the government and parliament gave the seal of approval to the Soft Drinks Industry Levy on April 25, 2017. Of course, no-one is against the principle of making food – and soft drinks – healthier and clearly retailers and suppliers in Scotland are keen to work with the Scottish Government to reduce the level of diet-related ill health and the burden this places on the NHS and the economy. The soft drink manufacturers have been ahead of the game in this respect, reformulating products to reduce their sugar content and introducing new ones in order to give consumers more choice. John Lee, SGF Head of Policy and Public Affairs, said the approach of manufacturers was interesting, with some reformulating much-loved brands – Irn-Bru, for example – and others steadfastly refusing to alter their recipes. “The industry is cutting its cloth accordingly,” he said. However, he stressed the SGF remained of the view that improved food education and awareness should be the priority rather than “constantly shifting the responsibility for population health onto retailers”, pointing to the trade association’s Scottish Government-supported Healthy Living Programme in which over 2,000 stores are now participating.



“Independent retailers are doing a great job at promoting healthy products in-store and the efforts of manufacturers to reformulate products and reduce calories shouldn’t go unnoticed either,” he added. At the Scottish Wholesale Association, Executive Director Kate Salmon also praised suppliers for their efforts in broadening the choice available to consumers in the soft drinks category. “This enables wholesalers to provide a wide range of soft drinks products to their retail and foodservice customers,” she said. “By offering more low and no-sugar variants, suppliers are ensuring that retailers can provide their own customers with a great choice so they can then make informed decisions for their families.” With diehard Irn-Bru fans reportedly stockpiling Scotland’s Other National Drink before the original recipe disappears forever and even a petition launched to “save” it, AG Barr is confident that people won’t be able to tell the difference. The reduction in Irn-Bru’s sugar content from 8.5 teaspoons to four, taking a can from just under 140 calories to about 65 calories, responds to consumer demand for less sugar but the firm’s flagship regular brand still uses the same secret Irn-Bru flavour essence that has given the product its distinct taste since its launch in 1901.

Sugar Tax

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Sugar Tax

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With demand for no and low-sugar options increasing in the New Year, AG Barr is encouraging retailers to ensure that their soft drinks range includes a wide variety of regular, low and zero-sugar variants in order to drive sales. “The soft drinks market has evolved, with shoppers increasingly looking for greater choice at the fixture,” says Adrian Troy, Marketing Director at AG Barr. “However, they are not prepared to compromise on taste, and are looking for low-calorie alternatives that feature the full-on flavour they’re used to, but with less sugar.” The AG Barr portfolio includes low and zero-sugar variants of bestselling brands such as Irn-Bru, Rockstar, Rubicon and Snapple. Irn-Bru Sugar Free and no-sugar Irn-Bru Xtra are also performing well in convenience stores. Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP), meanwhile, has gone down the road of using smaller bottles and selling at higher prices rather than altering its famous Coca-Cola recipe. The supplier has also launched three new Glaceau smartwater sparkling flavoured variants, with zero sugar and natural flavours, while its reformulated regular Capri-Sun flavours, available from early 2018, contain 50% less sugar and fall below the Soft Drinks Industry Levy threshold. A nationwide sampling campaign to drive consumer trial and support sales of Coca-Cola Zero Sugar saw heavyweight activity across the UK to support retailers by encouraging trial of the popular no-sugar variant. CocaCola Zero Sugar is CCEP’s biggest product investment in a decade and part of its strategy to promote choice and help people reduce their sugar and calorie intake. These include the introduction of new smaller portions like the 250ml can and offering clear nutritional information on packs through the government’s voluntary colour-coded nutrition labelling scheme. The firm’s Trade Communications Manager, Amy Burgess, added: “It’s important for retailers to offer a wide selection of low or zero-sugar drinks, with manufacturers innovating new lighter options to meet rising consumer demand for healthier options.” In 20


2018, she said, there would be a continued focus from CCEP on the innovation of lower or zero-calorie products to cater for increasing consumer demand, following on from the successful launch of Coca-Cola Zero Sugar in summer 2016. Just last month, Britvic launched its new sustainable business programme called A Healthier Everyday which builds on its commitment to help consumers make healthier choices, support the wellbeing of communities, and minimise its impact on the planet. This programme builds on Britvic’s work on public health which has seen it take steps to help consumers make healthier choices through a long term and extensive reformulation programme, an innovation pipeline focused on healthier products, and marketing responsibly. Indeed, this work has seen Britvic remove over 20 billion calories from its GB portfolio since 2013 “on an annualised basis, meaning

Sugar Tax

the company is well placed to respond to the Soft Drinks Industry Levy”. Come April, 94% of its owned brands (72% of Britvic’s full GB portfolio) will be below or exempt from the levy. For the SGF’s John Lee, however, the big question is: what happens next? He pointed to the consultation on the Scottish Government’s new Diet and Obesity Strategy that was launched by Public Health Minister Aileen Campbell last year on the back of the Scottish Healthy Survey which showed the majority of Scots are overweight or obese, leading to increased risk of diabetes, heart disease and cancer. The consultation, which closed on January 31, will also support the Scottish Government’s Good Food Nation Bill which is expected to be introduced to Holyrood in early 2019.


Buying or selling a retail business? If you’re buying or selling a retail-based business, it’s vital that you have a reliable and accurate stock valuation for the business. Whether it’s a convenience store, newsagent, petrol station, sports shop, card shop or retail store, we’ll ensure that your business sales are supported with the professional and accurate stock valuation you need. Our business sale and transfer valuation services include a thorough date check of all stock and margins agreed to maximise gross profit. We’ll agree the correct discounts to be used with all the parties to ensure a reliable and undisputed count, with detailed valuations and certificates produced on the day of the count for immediate use. We conduct business sale stock valuation for businesses across the UK including some of the biggest and best names in retail like Costcutters, Day-Today, Best-One, Londis, Lifestyle Convenience Stores, Mace, Premier, Best-In, Shop Smart, independent Spar stores and Keystores. Whatever your business schedule, we can support it. Stock counts can be carried out to meet whatever time scales you need to follow, including short-notice valuations.


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We are professional, experienced and affordable. We specialise in providing professional and affordable

stocktaking services to convenience stores, retail stores and petrol stations throughout Scotland and the North of England, with a close eye, always, on maximising your profits. Over 40 years of experience ensures that we deliver a full range of stock counts, data based counts and EPOS stock file updates with a high level of accuracy, to your time-scale. We understand the long hours that you open, and your need to always be available for customers as a vital local business which means you need a stock take completed quickly and efficiently, at a time that suits you and your customers. That’s where we can help. Our many years of experience allows us to carry out your stock take quickly and efficiently, causing minimum disruption to your business, your staff, and importantly your customers.

Call Caroline or Ronnie today on 07863 599 126 / 07878 415 870 and let’s talk. Or go to: and, assuming you like what you see, email:

We count ... so you don’t have to.





Robinsons grows up Britvic has launched a multimillion-pound campaign to


support Fruit Creations, the first in a new range of Robinsons products designed for adults. The ‘Listen Up’ ad airs throughout 2018 on TV and video-on-demand. The campaign is bolstered with Facebook, social, PR and experiential

BOOST YOUR SPORTS & ENERGY DRINK SALES – P50 BISCUITS Mondelez lures young adults with American trip

Oreo’s quest begins

activity. The next stage starts in March with the launch of Robinsons Fruit Cordial.

Landmark revamps chocolate bars Landmark Wholesale has revealed a brand-new look for its chocolate range, which launches month. Price-marked at 60p per 100g bar, the range includes milk chocolate, white chocolate and a new dark chocolate bar. The rebrand includes a more contemporary label to appeal to

The Great Oreo Cookie Quest has commenced, giving consumers the chance to win a trip to California, with spending money and a visit to the Googleplex thrown in. The on-pack competition runs until May 31 and is an attempt by Mondelez to increase Oreo’s penetration into the young adult market. It is supported by TV, PR, digital and in-store activity. Thousands of other Oreo merchandise daily prizes

are also up for grabs and, to be in with a chance of winning, consumers need to buy a promotional pack of Oreos and enter the pack code online. Advising retailers to “stock up now”, Katie Dade, Senior Brand Manager for Oreo, said: “We’re kicking off the year in style with this wonder-filled activation that offers a great brand experience for consumers while helping to drive further penetration and frequency.”


McCoy’s potters with Paprika flavour


No Losers Weepers for Cadbury Fingers

McCoy’s has unveiled a new reformulated Paprika flavour, which 57% of the 233 consumers in a taste test preferred to its nearest competitor. New packs are available in a Single Grab Bag (47.5g) format at 89p RSP. The new flavour features in McCoy’s ‘Find a Gold Crisp, Win £10,000’ on-pack competition which runs until April and will


be supported as part of the

Great hunk from Bulgaria signs for Häagen-Dazs

brand’s £1.5million TV and digital campaign in the spring.

It starts inside with Activia Activia is targeting consumers who are looking to get back into healthier eating with a new marketing campaign. Running until the end of March, the initiative carries the headline ‘It starts inside’. The campaign is backed by a £3m investment that includes new TV ads, digital, out-of-home and in-store activity. The brand has also created 10 different

Häagen-Dazs has named current world number three tennis player Grigor Dimitrov, who once said on TV that he “could not live” without the ice cream, as its new global ambassador. Dimitrov’s involvement with the brand will see him take part in bespoke activity around Wimbledon and other leading grass courts events like the ATP at Queen’s Club. He is served with wielding his social media influence to engage and recruit millennials who love both ice cream and tennis. To debut the partnership, Dimitrov dished up his first bespoke flavour creation to fans on-site at the Häagen-Dazs Bar at Melbourne Park on the Australian Open Kids’ Day.

Cadbury Fingers has launched a new onpack promotion named ‘Finders Keepers’ as part of its partnership with the Premier League. The promotion, which kicks-off on January 15 and runs until May 31, will be supported by PR, social media and digital activity. It offers consumers a chance to win one of 1,000 prizes, including a money-can’tbuy grand prize. By finding a golden tray inside promotional packs, consumers can score the top prize of presenting the Premier League’s Golden Glove trophy to the goalkeeper with the most clean sheets at the end of the season. They, and their chosen guests, will also enjoy a VIP experience on the day. Instant prizes on offer include match tickets, stadium tours, TV sports passes and Cadbury Fingers packs. To reveal and redeem their prize, consumers must email their promotional pack code and contact details to Cadbury Biscuits. All golden tray finders will be entered into a draw for the grand prize. Entries for the draw close on April 27.

short clips to target various consumer groups on Facebook. KEEP UP WITH THE LATEST NEWS AS IT HAPPENS – FOLLOW US ON TWITTER @SLRMAG





Yazoo hits silver screen Yazoo has launched a £200,000 advertising campaign for its No Added Sugar range. Kicking off this month, the activity sees the flavoured milk drink advertised


Nestlé’s latest KitKat promo is a mug’s game KitKat has kicked-off 2018 with a new promotion which attempts to link confectionery and hot drinks as the perfect break partners. The campaign hinges around Joe the Mug, who features in fresh media activity from KitKat, as well as an on-pack promotion. The promo gives consumers the chance to win one of 50,000 thermochromic Joe the Mugs. A code found on the inside of each promotional KitKat wrapper can be entered online to discover if it’s a winner. Each mug has a face on one side and – when hot water is added – a message from KitKat on the other revealing Joe’s favourite kind of break. A new £1m social and digital media campaign supports the promotion. This is on top of a £2.2m KitKat Masterbrand TV and cinema blitz, which is expected to be seen by 80% of the brand’s target audience at least six times.

across cinema, YouTube and social media for 13 weeks. The campaign targets parents, and runs with the previous “top up tummies ‘til teatime” message. The ad will air at films including Disney’s Coco and Peter Rabbit.

Volvic unveils new campaign and bottle shape Volvic’s latest campaign ‘One Resolution You Can Stick To’ includes digital, social media and sampling activity. It forms part of the brand’s overall media investment of £3.8m for 2018. The campaign coincides with the launch of a new 50cl Volvic plain bottle shape, with a 75cl sports cap format following later


Time to shine with Wrigley

Wrigley has launched a new Facebook campaign, promoting its dashboard gum holder. An extension of the brand’s Time to Shine advert, the new campaign is titled ‘Arrive Ready (for your time to shine)’. It features a series of short films, each portraying an everyday car journey, which ends with an unexpected twist. It’s fair to say, the woman pictured was not expecting that. The ads hinge on the notion that people want to be at their best when they arrive at their destination. The campaign is expected to reach almost nine million consumers. The gum holder is available free of charge with selected purchased gum bottles. The formats on offer include Extra Peppermint, Extra Spearmint (60pc), Extra White, Extra White Bubblemint, Extra Ice Peppermint and Extra Coolbreeze (46pc), Airwaves Menthol & Eucalyptus (46pc) Bottles and New Extra Mints (70 pc).

SOFT DRINKS Irn-Bru back on screens

Barr brews up new ad A new TV ad is to spearhead a £2m campaign from AG Barr for its flagship Irn-Bru brand. The campaign launches in midFebruary, just weeks before the sugar tax on soft drinks starts in April. It will also feature cinema and digital activity. “The new campaign will continue to reflect the cheeky, maverick attitude for which IrnBru is well-loved and will move the brand on from the popular ‘Gets You Through’ advertising campaign,” said Adrian Troy, AG Barr’s Marketing Director. The brand will also continue its partnerships with the SPFL, the Football League and the Sky Sports football programme, Soccer AM. “Irn-Bru advertising is always eagerly anticipated by Scottish consumers, driving consistent shopper awareness and demand and increasing retailer sales,” added Troy.

in 2018.

Petits Filous backs child development Petits Filous has kicked-off its latest campaign, which tackles the issue of child development. With a £3m media spend planned throughout 2018, the campaign starts with activity revealing the power of ‘Free Play’.The campaign is projected to reach over 22 million consumers, and includes TV, video-on-demand and Facebook adverts.

EPC’s supermarket faves launch into wholesale EPC’s three leading brands – English Provender Co., Very Lazy and Newman’s Own – are now available from wholesalers after a deal with RH Amar. The range of 10 products already popular in supermarkets includes English Provender Co’s Caramelised Red Onion and Tomato & Chilli Chutneys; Very Lazy’s Chopped Garlic and Garlic Paste; and Newman’s Own Italian, Balsamic and Ranch Dressings.





Licensing guru up for gong SLR’s resident licensing expert Stephen McGowan has been


shortlisted in the Lawyer of the Year category at this year’s Scottish Legal Awards. McGowan, who answers readers’ alcohol retailing questions, is Head of Licensing for TLT Solicitors. The company, which sponsors the SLR Rewards, is itself nominated in the Community Contribution category. Winners will be announced on March 15.

Crabbie back with two single malts Last seen in the 1970s, Crabbie Whisky is back with two limitededitions: Crabbie 30-Year-Old and Crabbie Eight-Year-Old. A single cask release of 336 bottles, the Crabbie 30-Year-Old is made using Speyside malt matured in the sherry butts and has an RSP of £500. Bottled at 48.6% ABV, the 30-YearOld is available in

GRAB A SLICE OF THE CAKES & BISCUITS CATEGORY– P52 READY-TO-DRINK New Scottish manufacturer wins major listing

Scotmid trials new RTD range from Finnieston Distillery Company Scotmid is supporting excited about local and new Scottish business nationally-sourced Scottish the Finnieston Distillery products. We believe it’s Company (FDC) by important to support stocking the drinks small up and coming producer’s range of Scottish businesses like four whisky-based RTD the Finnieston Distillery products. The new range Company and when I first includes Scotch On The came across the range at a Beach, Finnieston Fling, food exhibition in Glasgow Scotmid’s Stephen Brown with David McLauchlan Shanghai Sour and Old from the Finnieston Distillery Company it immediately struck me Fashioned Green Tea. as a well-packaged, wellAll lines are modern takes on nature of cocktails to market. presented and innovative range traditional favourite cocktails. We’re delighted to have secured that could do well in Scotmid FDC’s Operations & Production listings with Scotmid.” stores.” Manager David McLauchlan said: Scotmid’s Head of Local The four lines are now in 25 “The company started last year Sourcing Stephen Brown said: “At stores that Scotmid identified as but we’ve been working hard Scotmid we are always looking for having the right customer base. since then to develop this range exciting new lines to bring to our JW Filshill also stocks the range, to really bring the fresh, vibrant customers and we are particularly which carries an RSP of £2.

70cl single glass bottles, presented in a gift box, complete with an age statement, cork closure and metallic


Absolut-ely nothing to see here!

rip seal capsule. For whisky drinkers of more limited means, Crabbie has also launched an Eight-Year-Old Highland single malt Scotch whisky. It is available in 70cl format, bottled at 46% with an RSP of £30.

Whisky makers tackle alcohol misuse Fifteen local initiatives fighting alcohol misuse have received grants from the Scotch Whisky Action Fund in its latest round of awards. The fund was set up in 2013 by the Scotch Whisky Association to tackle alcohol misuse and promote responsible drinking. It supports and develops a range of schemes that tackle alcohol-related harms

Absolut has lived up to its ‘the vodka with nothing to hide’ credentials by releasing a short film that features employees from its Åhus production facility totally naked. The film humorously pays homage to classic employee induction videos and highlights the brand’s sustainable, progressive approach to vodka production. The nudity – in case you missed it – is used as

a metaphor for Absolut’s transparent production process, apparently. Craig Johnson, Absolut’s VP Global Marketing, said: “Absolut has always believed in using its voice to promote change and we are proud to champion sustainability and transparency in our industry. We feel it’s now more important than ever to let our customers know, we have nothing to hide!”

in young people, families and communities. KEEP UP WITH THE LATEST NEWS AS IT HAPPENS – FOLLOW US ON TWITTER @SLRMAG





SPIRITS New delivery solution offers fresh opportunities for retailers

Diageo on demand: home delivery deal opens door for retailers Diageo has teamed up with delivery app UberEATS to form a new partnership that could offer convenience retailers a new and different opportunity to grow their alcohol sales. The drinks producer is looking for retailers to act as supply partners and fulfil orders of its beverages, as well as mixers and snacks, that thirsty customers who don’t want to leave the house place via the UberEATs app. Insight into the potential opportunity for retailers comes from a trial Diageo conducted with London-based convenience chain Portlands 24/7. This saw nine city-centre stores generate an 8% increase in alcohol sales over eight weeks through the UberEATs and Diageo link-up. Rachel D’Silva, Diageo GB, commented: “Our partnership with UberEATs aims to expand the growing opportunity of on-demand delivery into the convenience sector by bridging the gap between retailers and consumers. Through this partnership, Diageo has embraced an innovative technology trend,

driven by a shift in millennial needs and a rise in tech-enabled delivery channels. “The initiative also enables our trusted stockists to work alongside us and UberEATs to set up, promote, and arrange a smooth pickup and delivery service, which will help them to maximise alcohol sales as a result”. UberEATS is currently available from 11am to 11pm, seven days a week and allows customers to use

their Uber account to digitally order, pay, track and receive food and drink direct to their door in around half an hour. The app is age gated and all users are asked to provide their age prior to submitting an order. Valid photo ID to verify the recipient’s age is also required upon delivery. For more information about Diageo’s partnership with UberEATs, or to register interest retailers should get in touch with


Landmark launches new-look Vintners Collection Landmark Wholesale has relaunched its Vintners Collection range of wines with a more contemporary label. With an RSP of less than £6 per bottle, the 12-strong range includes Italian Pinot Grigio, Argentinian Malbec, Chilean Sauvignon Blanc and Californian White Zinfandel.

“The range features the same great tasting wine but now with a fresh, contemporary look,” commented Jon Burton, Senior Trading Controller, Landmark Wholesale. “We are delighted to have received positive feedback on the new modern look of the wine from retailers and consumers alike.”

Q. I’ve been reading with interest about the introduction of minimum unit pricing. Who will make sure that I am complying with the new requirements? A. The obligation to adhere to a minimum unit price will be a mandatory condition of your premises licence. As such, Licensing Standards Officers will be primarily responsible for making sure that licensed premises comply with minimum unit pricing. In order to achieve compliance a LSO will be able to issue compliance notices and should non-compliance continue then they will be able to ask for the premises licence to be reviewed by the Licensing Board. It is also important to note that failing to comply with a condition of your premises (of which minimum unit pricing will be one) then you will be committing a criminal offence punishable by a fine up to £20,000 or/and imprisonment not exceeding six months. Q. My licensed grocers faces onto a busy road and I often receive complaints from local residents in relation to delivery vehicles blocking the pavement. A frequent complainer is threatening to report my shop to the Licensing Board. What will happen? A. Strictly speaking issues arising from the delivery of goods are not a relevant issue for licensing boards. However, the way in which you deal with your neighbours really speaks to you being a responsible licence holder. The board will doubtless expect you as a licence holder to work with local residents to make sure that their quality of life is not impaired by the day to day operation of your premises irrespective of whether it involves the sale of alcohol. We would suggest that you speak to the complainer and any other local residents to see what measures you can introduce to allay their concerns before it comes to the attention of licensing standards officers.





Scottish Sun backs new radio stations with TV ads The Scottish Sun is supporting

News& Magazines

the creation of its three new digital music radio stations with the launch of extensive TV advertising. News Scotland and Wireless Group launched the new DAB


Times launches ballsy promotion

and online stations, which are being promoted with a comprehensive campaign including television, outdoor advertising on billboards and buses, print, online and social media adverts declaring: “Scotland’s new radio stations are born”. The three stations are each targeted at a different audience demographic: Scottish Sun Hits, Scottish Sun 80s and Scottish Sun Greatest Hits. The TV ad aired for the first time on STV with a prime-time spot during the premiere of the new series of The Voice. The ad also featured in spots during the premiere of the Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 on Channel 4, and Spectre on STV as well as a spot in the premiere of series 3 of SAS: Who Dares Wins on Channel 4. The launch follows successful trials of other Scottish Sun popup stations in the past year. The Scottish Summer Sun and The

As the Six Nations rugby tournament gets into full swing and Scotland goes rugby mad, The Times Scotland has been busy activating a new rugby promotion in local retailing outlets across the country. The promotion sees customers able to collect a free branded rugby ball simply for buying five copies of The Times Scotland. The News Scotland marketing team has been driving the promotion forward, with a recent visit to Edinburgh seeing it go live in dozens of stores.

Chris Hughes, Head of Retail Marketing at News UK, told SLR: “This is just another initiative to help Scotland’s retailers grow their newspaper sales and get behind The Times Scotland, which is performing exceptionally well. With the Six Nations currently in full swing, it was a great time to launch this promotion for shoppers to help them get even more out of buying their favourite newspaper. The response from local retailers has been fantastic and we have many more great initiatives on the way to support our independent retailer colleagues.”

Scottish Sun Xmas Radio both proved popular with listeners and advertisers alike, with the


Christmas station broadcasting

NFRN welcomes ‘overdue’ newspaper probe

festive hits from November 17 right up to the big day.


The NFRN, which represents the independent news retailers who are responsible for 60% of newspaper sales, has welcomed an investigation into the future of the newspaper marketplace announced by Prime Minister Theresa May, but says such action is long overdue. Linda Sood, National President, said: “Newspapers play a crucial role in society and are the bread and butter for many independent newsagents but we have long expressed concerns about declining sales, the demise of quality journalism and, ultimately, the quality of the publications. A diverse and plural press is critical to local communities and newspaper stockists alike so we welcome the investigation and hope news retailers can play a full part within it.” NFRN Head of News Brian Murphy thinks the probe should cover the whole of the news supply chain. He said: “This investigation should be widened to include cover pricing, declining retailer margins and the increasing costs associated with receiving supplies, as well as the physical distribution.”


Mirror snaps up Express titles The owner of the Daily Mirror has agreed to buy the publishing assets of Northern & Shell which is chaired by Richard Desmond, the company behind titles including the Daily Express, the Daily Star and the three magazines OK!, New! and Star. Trinity Mirror will pay £126.7m, bringing to an end Desmond’s 18 years as a UK newspaper owner. Simon Fox, Chief Executive of Trinity Mirror, said Northern & Shell’s titles have a large and loyal readership, and offer an excellent fit with Trinity Mirror. The deal will inevitably lead to cost savings as the titles pool their resources.





PROFIT FROM THE NO.1 * SCOTTISH GROCERY BRAND *Source : Kantar World Panel, Value Sales, Take Home Non-Alcohol Brands, MAT to 21.05.17, Total Scotland

Inside Business

Research Digest

FOOD SALES UP 2.9% IN QUARTER The BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor for February 2018 has found that over the three months to January, food sales increased 2.9% on a like-for-like basis and 4.1% on a total basis. This remains above the 12-month Total average growth of 3.7%, the highest since November 2012. Total UK retail sales increased by 0.6% on a like-for-like basis from January 2017, when they had decreased 0.6% from the preceding year. On a total basis, sales rose 1.4% in January, against a growth of 0.1% in January 2017. This is roughly in line with the 3-month and 12-month averages of 1.5% and 1.6% respectively.


New research from EPoS and insight company The Retail Data Partnership (TRDP) reveals that retailers have reacted in a number of different ways to comply with the latest surcharge ban on credit and debit card payments in-store.


charge despite the ban. Respondents to the survey were considering the following:

The Soil Association’s 2018 Organic Market Report reveals the UK organic market is now worth more than ever at £2.2bn, growing 6% in 2017. The market has now had six years of steady growth, with organic accounting for 1.5% of the total UK food and drink market. Sales of organic in Scotland grew at a rate of 19.4% in 2017 [Kantar, Feb 2017], and accounted for 6.5% of all UK sales. Scotlandbased Soil Association licensees reported even bigger growth at 28%, with interest in organic buoyed by strong government support through the Organic Ambitions plan, which is helping raise public awareness. This strong growth looks set to continue, with 100% of Scottish independent retailers expecting organic sales to maintain or increase in 2018. Independent retailers increased sales of organic by 9.7%.


ONLINE RETAIL GROWTH SHOWS SIGNS OF REACHING MATURITY UK online retail sales were up 12.1% on average year-on-year (YoY) in 2017, down on 2016’s 15.9% figure, according to the latest figures from the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index. The figure is almost 2% lower than the Index’s 2017 forecast of 14%, suggesting that the online retail market may finally be maturing. Indeed, across the 12 months of 2017 only March and April showed notably stronger YoY growth than the previous year. While the vast majority of online sales remains non-food items, there is perhaps an important message for grocery and convenience retailers in the findings. 32


On January 13, new EU rules banned surcharges on all card payments with many concerned that this change would have a negative effect on local retailers. In UK convenience stores, approximately 50% of purchases are made with credit and debit cards. Under the new rules, retailers are no longer allowed to pass on any credit and debit charges to their customers and are expected to cover the costs themselves. A recent TRDP survey investigated the potential impact of the new EU rules within the convenience sector and discovered that around 75% of retailers are expecting to feel the effect of the changes. One respondent stated: “It is going to impact our business in a big way. The profit margins on card payments are none, and we only break even if that. We only charge our customers to cover the cost of the chip and pin machines. We would rather not charge our customers, but we have to cover our monthly costs.”

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR RETAILERS? While the ban may be good news for consumers, retailers are now expected to find ways to compensate for yet another financial burden. The TRDP survey discovered that retailers were considering a variety of solutions including minimum charge requirements, removing their card payment facilities altogether and even continuing to

While surcharges are now outlawed, minimum charge requirements on card spending remains legal. This allows retailers to cover card machine and transaction costs by requiring greater spend by their customers. The most common minimum spend amount is £5 and with the average 2017 card transaction in TRDP convenience stores reaching £12.05, many transactions are likely to be eligible for card payment if a minimum charge requirement is applied. However, this plan may turn off impulse purchases, and could push people to the supermarkets who generally do not charge for card payments.

REMOVING CARD PAYMENT FACILITIES – 7.1% OF RESPONDENTS Removing card payment facilities altogether means retailers will no longer have to deal with card charges but as 50% of transactions are done on card (with contactless and mobile payments on the rise) retailers are likely to miss out on a major, growing market.

CONTINUING TO CHARGE – 12% OF RESPONDENTS By continuing to charge for card payments, you definitely won’t be out of pocket but this is illegal, and Trading Standards are likely to be enforcing this.

SUPPORT FROM CARD PAYMENT PROVIDERS Some retailers are focusing their frustration on card payment providers, as they feel the fees are too high and cannot justify the payment for a small business.

Research Digest

Inside Business


New research from IGD suggests putting health higher on the menu would encourage a third of consumers to consume food out of the home more often. One-third (31%) of consumers would eat out of home more often if healthier options were more readily available, according to new IGD research. The research examines the relevance of health on these occasions and how consumers balance nutritional aims with the desire for a treat.

BARRIERS AND SOLUTIONS IGD’s research highlights four barriers preventing health from having more of an influence on people when they eat out:

VALUE PERCEPTIONS Over half (59%) of consumers feel it’s more expensive to eat healthily when out of home. The industry therefore has lots of scope to show consumers how they can eat healthily on a budget.

CONFUSION OVER MESSAGING If health information is not presented in a consistent way, it can sometimes confuse and lead to wrong choices. The food industry therefore has an opportunity to continue the work

it has already started on refining its messaging to consumers.

THE EFFORT TO PURSUE HEALTH The research shows that when grabbing food on the go, people usually revert to the easiest option, so if finding something healthy requires special effort they are less likely to do so. When offered a range of options to make finding healthy food easier, most consumers recommended a dedicated selection of healthy options clearly marked in-store or on the menu (35%).

TAKEAWAY FOOD CULTURE Takeaway missions have the lowest explicit levels of consideration around health. However, expanded home delivery and takeaway options could shift this perception. Rhian Thomas, Head of Shopper Insight at IGD, said: “There is scope to encourage some people to eat out more frequently by offering a broader range of healthy options and meeting specific dietary claims. “There’s also an opportunity to reposition the language of health. Many consumers view healthy eating as a sacrifice but there is scope to break this association, by showing that healthy food can taste good and make you feel good too.” FEBRUARY 2018 | SLR


Inside Business

2 Minutes | Dan Brown

Dan Brown He may be a young man, but Dan Brown already has an enviable CV in local retailing in Scotland and looks set to build on that with his latest appointment as MD of Lothian Stores, the company behind Pinkie Farm Convenience Store in Musselburgh. SO, DAN, ONWARDS AND UPWARDS TO EVEN BIGGER CHALLENGES THEN? Yes, I’ve been very much looking forward to getting started. Pinkie Farm has a fantastic team and the store has a lot of potential – there’s no doubt there are going to be plenty of challenges but I can’t wait to get stuck in!

PRESUMABLY YOU ENJOYED YOUR TIME AT GIACOPAZZI’S AND LEARNED A LOT? FACTFILE Dan Brown is Managing Director of Lothian Stores, the company that trades the Nisa Pinkie Farm Convenience Store in Musselburgh. He is son of industry stalwart Stephen Brown, formerly of David Sands and now of Scotmid. Dan has a degree in Retail Marketing from Stirling University and has worked in an array of convenience stores, most recently running Joanna and Franck Casonato’s Giacopazzi’s store in Kinross.

I had a fantastic time at Giacopazzi’s – again we had fantastic teams in both stores who were a pleasure to work with. Joanna and Franck Casonato gave me a lot of freedom to run the store, which allowed me to really harness everything that I’ve strived to learn over the last few years and so I’m very grateful for the experience.

DOES RETAILING RUN IN YOUR BLOOD? Very much so! I’ve had the privilege of growing up working alongside my father (Stephen Brown of Scotmid) from a very young age and from that I developed a strong passion for retailing.

WHERE IS LOCAL RETAILING HEADING THESE DAYS? It’s hard to predict as there’s a lot going on like the minimum wage increases, minimum pricing on alcohol, the deposit return scheme and the big mergers. I think for now the key is being able to be dynamic and offer different concepts within stores that allow us to diversify.

WHICH CATEGORIES DO YOU SEE AS BEING KEY FOR THE NEXT COUPLE OF YEARS? It’s very much about food to go and fresh. I think we’ve only just scratched the surface of their potential.

YOU’VE MOVED FROM A BIG STORE TO AN EVEN BIGGER STORE – DO THE CHALLENGES GROW WITH THE SIZE OF THE BUSINESS? I would say it’s probably more that there are different challenges and the difficulty is in the moving itself. I 34


wouldn’t say that a bigger store is a bigger challenge as I feel that somewhat takes away from the recognition that some of the smaller retailers deserve.

HAVE YOU SPOTTED ANY IMMEDIATE WAYS TO GROW THE BUSINESS AT PINKIE FARM? Colin Smith, the previous MD, has left the store in a fantastic position for me to take over from him and continue where he left off. I’ve got a strong food to go background and am confident there are opportunities to push the boat out in that regard, and I also think there will be some fantastic opportunities to maximise chill and fresh with the potential of Co-op ranging being made available to Nisa within the next few months.

WHAT IS THE KEY TO YOUR SUCCESS? Quite simply, hard work and empathy. Anything is possible if you’re willing to work for it. A huge part of that is about taking the time to understand and serve people.

HOW IMPORTANT IS INNOVATION TO THE SUCCESS OF A MODERN C-STORE? It comes back to being dynamic to survive against the pressures we’re facing. It’s during times like this where innovation is very much necessary and we’re therefore likely to see some fantastic ideas and concepts emerge that could potentially re-invent convenience retailing.

HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO BUILD A STRONG TEAM BEHIND YOU? Your team is the heart and soul within your business – without them, there is no success and it is therefore crucial to keep their wellbeing and development a priority.

DO YOU GET ANY SLEEP? Haha! Occasionally! I’ve learned the importance of working smarter. I also make a point of making full use of my days off as it’s important to switch off and clear your head, otherwise you just burn out.

What are you doing to help grocery people who struggle to

survive? Get involved and show that you’re not buying debt too.

Call 01252 875925 or visit

GroceryAid is the trading name of the National Grocers Benevolent Fund. A registered Charity Reg. No 1095897 (England & Wales) & SC039255 (Scotland). A company limited by guarantee, registered in England & Wales no 4620683




DAVID AIMS FOR DOMESTIC BLISS WITH HIS £500 OF VOUCHERS! David Jardine of Scotfresh Denny picked up £500 of High Street vouchers for being named E-Cigs Retailer of the Year – which is handy as he has recently moved house!

There’s a reason we call it the most Rewarding event in the UK local retailing calendar – as Scotfresh Denny Manager David Jardine found out when he picked up £500 of High Street Vouchers for being named E-Cigs Retailer of the Year at the SLR Rewards 2017. Kindly sponsored by leading e-cig brand blu, the category was created to recognise and reward retailers going above and beyond in developing the fast-growing vaping category. The judges for last year’s awards, including representatives from blu, unanimously agreed that David’s in-store display was out of this world, with a fantastic range of liquids and accessories to cater for every taste and every pocket. An eye-catching dedicated gantry at the tillpoint meant that the fixture was impossible to miss while an extensive range clearly demonstrated that the store takes the category

seriously. A huge range of flavours and strengths of e-liquids also meant that there was something for every vaper from the newly converted to the long-time experts. The level of knowledge around the category demonstrated by the staff during the visit was always complimented as they made a great job of simplyfying what can occasionally seem like a complex and hard to penetrate category for some. “It’s a category we take very seriously,” says David. “We know that vaping is in growth and we see the experience of that ourselves in the store. What we’re trying to do is to appeal to all vapers, not just those dipping their toe into that market for first time. “You can understand why shoppers use their local c-store for their first attempt at vaping but once they’ve got the hang of it they often migrate to dedicated vape shops where they perhaps get more comprehensive advice, bigger ranges and better prices. We tried to counter that by giving them everything they need to keep shopping with us all the way through their vaping journey.” And for his fantastic efforts, David picked up £500 of vouchers which, he says, will come in very handy as he’s just moved house. “We had the choice of Expedia vouchers or High Street vouchers – and while my heart said ‘holiday’, my head said ‘furniture’. As did my wife! But seriously, we’ve moved house not long ago so these will come in really handy for helping sort the new place out. I’d like to thank SLR and blu for the Reward. It’s such a great way of making the event special and it’s always nice to win a Reward. We’ll definitely be entering again this year!”


Inside Business

#ThinkSmart2 |19 March 2018, Glasgow Science Centre

# T hin kSm ar t 2 It’s time to book your slot at the UK’s only tech, data and digital conference! A hugely impressive and growing roster of speakers as well as a fascinating array of exhibitors make next month’s #ThinkSmart2 conference a must-attend event for all ambitious, progressive UK local retailers. Find out what the future of convenience retailing looks like – book your place now!

The Retail Data Partnership Ltd


Tom Fender Director, Bolt Learning

CHAIRMAN: Tom has over 25 years’ experience in the UK convenience and wholesale sector and is former co-owner of HIM shopper research consultancy. He returns as Chair having presided over #ThinkSmart1. Tom has travelled the world, working with both regional and international retailers, wholesalers and suppliers to help improve their business. His travels have exposed him to many ways that technology is used in different countries to better service the shopper, improve customer experience and drive efficiencies. He is passionate about the convenience sector and his role at Bolt has shifted his focus from the shopper to the people that serve them, and how technology can drive their performance.

Tom Hall Retail Analytics Expert, IRI Worldwide

Tom Hall is a recognised global thought leader in the world of retail analytics and heads up the Retail Analytics and Consulting team at research and data giants IRI Worldwide. Tom has worked across the globe in both developed and developing markets dedicated to helping retailers and manufacturers optimise their price, media, promotion and ranging strategies. He has a wealth of experience and has specialised in rolling out data analytics to new markets, working on convenience business optimisation across Africa, Asia, the Americas and Europe. At the moment, Tom is driving the development of tailored business

optimisation packages for the UK convenience sector following the launch by IRI of a new ‘supermarketstyle’ analytics solution created specifically for the convenience sector. The solution offers local retailers the same insights the supermarkets have had access to for years.

Enda McShane CEO, Velocity Worldwide

New York-based Irishman Enda McShane, CEO and founder of customer engagement gurus Velocity Worldwide, will by flying across the Atlantic to discuss the role that customer engagement can – and must – play in modern convenience retailing. A renowned tech visionary, he will also discuss some ground-breaking work that Velocity is undertaking on both sides of the Atlantic, including some next-generation huge scale projects in NFL stadiums across the US.

Gerry Hooper CEO, Zapper UK

Gerry Hooper joined Zapper in 2014 with over 20 years’ experience and has brought all of that expertise to Zapper, one of the fastest growing businesses in the industry. Hooper’s presentation will offer a vision of the future where technology and data combine to enhance the customer experience, drive loyalty and improve footfall, revenues and profits. Hooper has worked in many sectors including Payments, Food, Entertainment and Retail and has helped transform Zapper from a small tech start-up to a thriving commercial business. Using his extensive experience,


Inside Business

19 March 2018, Glasgow Science Centre | #ThinkSmart2


# T hin kSm ar t 2 knowledge and tactical sales capability, Hooper has developed and successfully implemented Zapper’s strategic, fast-moving and scalable plans for a ubiquitous mobile payment and marketing insight solution aimed at different UK verticals. Focusing on launching throughout retail convenience, Gerry’s enthusiasm and passion for Zapper ensure the senior team is aligned in their vision, goals and future business plans.

Paul Mercieca Chairman, Hi Street Digital Media

Paul is best known as Founder Chairman of multi-award winning London integrated communications agency Mercieca which was founded in 1995. Mercieca was voted The Grocer’s best agency in a number of categories for 15 successive years as well as The Drum’s best integrated agency in 2015. Integrated in-store digital screen business Hi Street Digital Media was launched by Paul at the beginning of 2017 after testing the concept in independent convenience stores across the UK. Following the year long test, not a single retailer opted to withddraw from using the screens and the concept was rolled out nationally.

Katie Jenkins Head of Customer Proposition, Bolt Learning

Katie is responsible for developing the customer proposition at online training provider Bolt Learning. Bolt’s mission is to help retailers and

wholesalers improve their business by leveraging technology to grow their people. The company currently works with a wide and growing portfolio of key retailers and wholesalers like Brakes, JJ Foodservice, Parfetts and Lifestyle Express. She has worked in UK convenience and wholesale for over 15 years. Her expertise spans from shopper research and in-store experience through to people development. Bolt’s smarter training solutions offer an extensive range of online modules containing realistic scenarios, immersive stories and engaging graphics, combined with trainee and performance analytics, to inspire behavioural change, ensure compliance and drive productivity.

Stephen Burnett MD and Founder, Retail Data Partnership

Twenty years in the independent retail sector has confirmed Stephen’s belief that independent retailers have a hugely important role to play in the UK, and need to use technology and their personal service to defend their livelihoods against ever-growing competition. Stephen’s presentation will highlight just what can be achieved by leveraging the power of data to drive better, smarter decision-making in a convenience store. The Retail Data Partnership is one of the largest suppliers of EPoS to the convenience retail sector in the UK. Its ShopMate EPoS system is designed to take the work out of running EPoS instore, and to provide retailers with the key information they need to build the profits of their business.

Steve O’Neill Group Marketing Director, PayPoint

Steve leads the development of PayPoint’s strategic marketing, consumer insight, media relations and brand agendas. Prior to joining PayPoint, Steve gained extensive experience as a marketing leader in the financial services, telecoms and retail sectors, holding senior roles at HSBC, Carphone Warehouse, Orange and John Lewis. He is passionate about technology, retail and shopper behaviour. PayPoint is a retail technology and payment services provider, present in over 29,000 convenience stores across the UK, with a further 10,000 in Romania. Its new PayPoint One platform, which combines EPoS, card payments and PayPoint services, is now live in over 7,000 UK stores

Exhibitors include: Q IRI Worldwide Q Velocity Worldwide Q Zapper Q M House Solutions Q Hi Street Digital Media Q Bolt Learning Q PayPoint Q The Retail Data Partnership

Visit to book – FREE FOR RETAILERS



Inside Business

#ThinkSmart2 |Virtual Reality in Retail

# T hin kSm ar t 2

VR: Is it on its T way to a store near you?

he industry that Bolt Learning operates in, the learning and development industry, is currently a bit like a child with a cool new toy called ‘Virtual Reality’ that they don’t know how to use. There’s excitement, experimentation and a lot of enthusiasm, but not an awful lot of productive or practical implementation. This is all completely understandable and, I must admit, I’m also a VR fanboy. But how can you practically use VR in eLearning in your store a sustainable way? Well, let me first try to clarify what VR is, how it can be used and then debunk some common misconceptions.

Virtual Reality (VR) is set to make a real impact on local retailing in the very near future. Luke Merrick, Head of Learning at Glasgowbased Bolt Learning, explains how VR has many potential applications in improving the way modern c-stores are run.



WHAT EXACTLY IS VR? Virtual Reality (VR) is a computer-generated environment within which the user is made to feel physically present. It’s been around in some form for years and enjoyed a notable boom in the 1990s before crashing rather abruptly. With the powerful computers, games machines and smartphones available now, VR is seeing a dramatic resurgence.

HOW IS IT USED IN ELEARNING? VR is ideal for creating a virtual environment that mirrors reality. Whether it’s a building, an office space or, in the local retailing industry, a shop – it can be experienced in VR. Within the virtual environment you can design tasks that the user must accomplish. The opportunity that VR presents in eLearning is that these tasks can be dangerous, difficult or time-consuming to practise – and make mistakes with – in the real world. It also suits tasks that require the environment to be set up in a way that is costly or difficult to do in real life. Remerchandising an entire fixture, for example, or even relaying the entire store to see if a different layout could work better for customer flow. Expensive and time-consuming in real-life, easy and quick in a virtual environment. There are multitude of actions and tasks that a user can learn to do quickly, efficiently and safely through trial and error with

Virtual Reality in Retail |#ThinkSmart2

# T hin kSm ar t

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VR. This allows the worker to develop skills before they need to put them into action for real.

MISCONCEPTIONS As with any new approach, our industry is still figuring out best training practice for this new technology. There are a few misconceptions that have already popped up for VR so here I make our contribution to the creation of best practice by busting some myths:

VR HAS TO BE DONE IN SEPARATE, STAND-ALONE SOLUTIONS Whilst we have yet to come across a use of VR that integrates well into a larger eLearning solution, it seems as though much of the focus within our industry currently is simply to produce stand alone VR. This short-term focus on getting VR up and running means that little attention has been given to integrating a VR experience into an eLearning module. Additionally, most of the solutions to date also are either passive or require specialised equipment. We think that this shouldn’t be the case, so we’ve done something about it. The VR experiences that we produce are experienced through an app on the user’s phone, and the user is prompted to access it at certain points in the eLearning module (obviously with alternatives available for those without a capable smart phone). The VR environment can be primed with parameters determined from the user’s progress throughout the eLearning. Once the user has completed the VR activity, the information of their experience is passed back into the module, allowing it to adapt to how the user got on within the VR. This means that VR experiences are fully integrated into the eLearning, and produce data that can be analysed such as what the user actually did, in what order they performed tasks and how long it took them to do each one.

PROHIBITIVELY EXPENSIVE Virtual Reality is expensive, right? You need several Oculus Rifts or HTC Vives, a dedicated room or two and you need to pay for 3D development. That adds up to a small fortune, surely? Well, yes and no. You can choose to go high-end and prohibitively expensive if you want, but you can also go lowend and accessible. At Bolt we’ve developed a VR solution

that works with a £15 headset and a modern smartphone – so there’s minimal up-front investment but it’ll also work with hardware such as the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive so those with the hardware can take full advantage. We’ve also been working on ways to optimise the development process to make it faster, cheaper and better for you.

YOU NEED A VR ROOM I’ve read a lot about amazing VR experiences that have a lot of ‘wow’ factor, and a bunch of my colleagues have experienced high-end demos in person. All of these have required specialist equipment and a dedicated space in a physical location. The problem with this version of VR is that it makes the future of training look very much like the past – a training experience at a physical location with all of the inconveniences and costs attached. We believe that this should not be the case. Bolt is committed to sticking to its values of making eLearning electrifying and accessible from anywhere and at any time. This is why we’ve developed VR that works both on your mobile phone and on high-end equipment that has to be set up in a specific space. ----------------------------------------------------------------------

CONCLUSION Virtual Reality presents us with an incredible opportunity to train people in skills that previously would’ve been dangerous, difficult, expensive or just downright inconvenient to do in real life. We believe that VR experiences should be seamlessly integrated into eLearning, be a reasonable price and be accessible anywhere at any time. Bolt Learning will be presenting and exhibiting at SLR’s #ThinkSmart2 Conference at the Glasgow Science Centre on March 19, 2018.

Luke Merrick, Head of Learning at Glasgow-based Bolt Learning. Bolt Learning will be speaking at SLR’s #ThinkSmart 2 Conference at the Glasgow Science Centre on March 19, 2018.



Inside Business

Woodlands Local | Monthly Update


There’s a buzz back at Woodlands Local again as the team is back to full strength and an array of exciting opportunities and hard work lie ahead.





or the first time in what feels like a very long time, there’s a buzz back again at Woodlands Local as we finally find ourselves in a position to stop fighting fires and start doing some more creative, innovative work in the store. Our staffing problems are – touch wood – finally at an end after a seemingly never-ending stream of issues. We recruited the final member of the team last month and are now satisfied that we have a strong team in place to allow us to turn our attentions to building growth over the next year. We have seen some more encouraging signs too in the financial performance of the store as monthly sales continue to grow, albeit slowly.

no alternative but to find another chilled, fresh and frozen supplier, or possibly three different new suppliers. Now you can see why building an entirely new range for every category in the store from the ground up has hit a snag or two. But at least we know where we stand now so we can consider our options and choose the one(s) we feel is right for the store, then the re-lay can kick in. JW Filshill, our key wholesale partner, has already kindly agreed to supply some manpower for the re-merchandising to allow us to get the whole store re-worked in a day or two, something we greatly appreciate.


We have also decided in the last few weeks that the time has come for us to consider the

More frustratingly however, we have still been unable to implement the full re-lay of the entire store that we have now been planning for over two months, partly down to the fact that we have as yet been unable to confirm where the land lies in terms of our chilled, fresh and frozen deliveries which came to an abrupt halt when P&H went belly up and Costcutter was left out on a limb. So far we have been making do with regular trips to the local Booker, supplemented with daily milk deliveries from Graham’s Dairies, who agreed to match the previous pricing structure we had through Costcutter for its own label Independent milk. We also get our bread direct from Allied Bakeries which has helped minimise disruption. As SLR was going to press, however, it has emerged that Costcutter now has an interim deal in place with Nisa to supply its stores until the Co-op is in position to take over completely – but that interim solution comes with some strings. Nisa’s minimum drop counts on chilled and frozen are very high for a store the size of ours and it’s questionable whether we would be able to hit those minimum drop quantities every week of the year, particularly as we source two of the highest volume fresh and chilled lines – bread and milk – direct from the manufacturers. It appears that if we aren’t prepared to commit to those minimum drop quantities we will have



GIN PALACE Buoyed by some small successes in introducing a few more craft gins to our range of spirits in the store, we’ve slowly continued building the range by adding a couple of new lines every so often. We’ve been promoting the range on our Facebook page and have started to see more and more interest from customers, particularly as we’ve tried to focus on gins not easily available elsewhere in Falkirk. The lines don’t sell in huge volume but are profitable when they do, especially as most sales include some premium mixers, maybe some ice cubes and often some other drinks and snacks. It’s another small point of difference to give customers reasons to come to the store.

Inside Business

Monthly Update | Woodlands Local

relaunch of our Woodlands Local Rewards Club. With the staffing issues under control and the store approaching an even keel, we feel that it’s time we had another go at doing the Rewards Club with our partners Velocity Worldwide. We learned a lot from using their Darius for Retail software solution the last time we ran the Rewards Club and we feel that experience will be invaluable in our second attempt. The last attempt failed principally because of our own failings in the shop. The system is frankly excellent but our execution in-store was, frankly, very poor. This was again down to major staffing issues but we are in a better place now and we believe we can make the Woodlands Rewards Club better than ever and a cornerstone of our business. We genuinely believe strongly that personalised customer engagement is the future of convenience retailing – so we need to have the courage of our convictions by putting it in place in our own little store. And if we can make it work, then goodness knows anyone can. I know that Blantyre retailer Mo Razzaq has been having some great successes with a version of the Club in his Family Shopper and it’s really encouraging to see retailers embracing new ways forward. A wee trip out to Blantyre for a spot of fact-finding might be in order sometime soon... Since we last ran the Rewards Club, Velocity have been busy improving Darius for Retail too including a brilliant new feature which adds a special QR page into the ‘wallet’ folder on members’ smartphones – the same wallet where boarding passes for flights and Apple/ Android Pay credit card details are held. That means customers don’t need to rely on their physical key fob to use in-store, they can simply use their phones to access Rewards meaning the Rewards Club will be easier than ever to join and use.

NEW PARTNERS Another new initiative is the re-launch of our category Partners Programme in Woodlands Local where we are working with individual category captains to work with us on the key categories in-store. We already have agreements in place with Wrigley (gum and sugar confectionery) and Diageo (spirits), and are confident that we’ll be able to confirm more soon. This is an exciting development as it allows us to work with these partners to both ensure we’re getting all the basics right in-store, but also to trial a whole array of interesting and creative solutions to try to drive up footfall, sales and profits. And, as always, we will share all our learnings with you through the pages of SLR.

PRICE OPTIMISATION PROJECT We have recently agreed to take part in an innovative price optimisation project with our EPoS partner at the store, The Retail Data Partnership (TRDP). The project basically involves us along with a number of other stores that fall into roughly the same demographic bracket, allowing TRDP to tweak the price of a number of high volume lines on a weekly basis then taking the learnings from each participating store to gradually settle on the optimum price for each product. As yet we are unable to share the details but we should be in a position to do so next month. It’s a genuinely innovative piece of work and could reveal some very interesting stats around price elasticity while hopefully also improving cash profits.

CASH CRISIS When is a cash machine not a cash machine? When it won’t pay out cash is the answer we keep finding at Woodlands Local. Either that or it simply swallows the customer’s card. Despite literally countless incidences of our Cashzone ATM failing to pay out money or simply swallowing cards and despite many calls to Cashzone, we are still no closer to a resolution – and it’s causing us all sorts of grief in-store, as you can imagine. The problem has gotten so bad we have a log pinned up on the shop wall where our staff write down every incident they encounter where cards are declined or swallowed. Our staff have been verbally abused and threatened by customers angry when the machine doesn’t function as it should and it may only be a matter of time before something even worse happens. And this after the whole internal ATM unit was replaced in the run up to Christmas to resolve the problem. The engineer assured us that “they know what the problem is and the new unit will fix it completely”. He even went to the bother of showing us the old ‘brain’ of the machine alongside its new much smaller and more modern version. Needless to say, it wasn’t 24 hours later before the machine began to play up, refusing to pay out cash to customers with money in their accounts and causing untold stress to both the irate customer and, occasionally, the unfortunate member of staff who had to deal with them. To be fair, the new machine swallows cards far less frequently – but it still does it. This is materially affecting our business but Cashzone seem peculiarly unwilling to do anything about it. When we called Cashzone and told them what the engineer has promised us, we were informed that “the engineer has no authority to make statement like that.” That’s fair enough, but the fact remains that he was in our store representing Cashzone and he did indeed make those statements, so who are we to believe? We’re not ones for naming and shaming – but it’s time you took customer care a little more seriously Cashzone... FEBRUARY 2018 | SLR



Inside Business


Woodlands Local | Kensitas Club Relaunch

CASHING IN ON KENSITAS CLUB RELAUNCH Once an iconic brand on every Scottish tobacco gantry, Kensitas Club aims to return to its former glory days thanks to a full relaunch of the brand at a much reduced RSP of only £7.65. Woodlands Local is working with brand owner JTI to examine the challenges of relaunching a major brand in a dark market.


nce upon a time the Kensitas Club cigarette brand counted itself among the icons of local retailing in Scotland. Anyone over the age of 40 or 50 will no doubt remember the striking blue and gold packs and the frenzied collection of the famous ‘Kensitas Coupons’ that shoppers received every time they bought a pack. The Kensitas Coupons were redeemable for a wide range of consumer goods and it’s probably fair to say that the scheme was one of the original mass participation loyalty schemes in the industry.

SCOTTISH FOCUS For reasons not entirely well understood, Kensitas Club – or Club as it was shortened to – was far more of a hit in Scotland than it was across the rest of the UK.


The full flavour that characterises the brand undoubtedly played a part but the overwhelming success of the brand was something that brand owners JTI were obviously very happy to see. Over the years however, as consumption patterns changed, a flood of NPD hit the market and competition intensified, the brand slowly lost market share. The seismic shift to value cigarettes in the last decade or so effectively meant that Club became a niche premium brand, albeit with a very loyal following. That’s certainly how the brand performs in Woodlands Local. It’s a long way down our list of top selling cigarette lines by volume although it does have a small base of shoppers that will settle for nothing else and buy the product regularly.


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Kensitas Club Relaunch | Woodlands Local



Years ago the Kensitas brand was launched

All that is set to change, however, with a full relaunch of the brand, complete with the introduction of a Superkings variant and, most eye-catchingly of all, a huge reduction in RSP way down to just £7.65. It’s a move that has been making waves in the local retailing sector since news of the relaunch first began filtering out. The Kensitas brand is in fact over 100 years old, making it one of the oldest cigarette brands still in production. As mentioned above, it quickly gained a loyal customer base in Scotland and that remains true to this day. Club still over-indexes in Scotland, albeit at much lower volume levels. The Kensitas Club brand first hit gantries in the 1970s and for decades since has been offering smokers a premium tobacco experience. This latest move is an innovative attempt to revitalise the brand and make that premium experience available to a far wider audience, competing at the value end of the market but with a premium product.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR RETAILERS? The most obvious question that most retailers first asked themselves when they heard about the change was what it would mean for their profits. The primary concern would be over the potential lost revenues from suddenly charging only £7.65 for a product that used to retail for an RSP of £10.55. But JTI have anticipated that concern and are confident that the loss of revenue per pack will be more than compensated by the increase in sales of the previously premium-priced product at the significantly lower price point. Andy Stevens, JTI Head of Sales, told SLR: “Scotland’s cigarette industry is worth an estimated £1.5bn [Nielsen, Sep 17] and the demand for exceptional quality, low prices, and a wide choice continues to grow. Kensitas Club is an iconic brand and most existing adult

Our local JTI rep Chris Innes hand delivers the new outers to the store.

smokers will be aware of its incredible heritage and superior quality. We’re confident that the new lower RSP will offer existing adult smokers a unique combination of a premium tobacco experience and a great value price. “We’re dedicated to providing retailers with a competitive product range, in line with market trends, and are confident that the drop in RSP along with the introduction of Superkings to the Kensitas Club portfolio, will help retailers drive incremental sales. We firmly believe retailers will benefit from this move, as well as the addition of a Super Kings 20s variant which further broadens the appeal of the brand.”

DARK MARKET Clearly, the biggest problem facing manufacturers and retailers when it comes to launching or relaunching tobacco lines is the severe restrictions placed on the category which make it very difficult to communicate with the shopper. By pitching the brand as the cheapest on the gantry, or thereabouts, Kensitas Club clearly aims to target existing adult smokers looking for great value who would see the option of a premium product at a value price as a great combination. There’s no question that is a bold move from JTI – but it’s based on sound logic. The vast majority of products at the cheapest end of the market trade exclusively on price. Kensitas Club is trading on a strong combination of value price and premium product. But will customers buy it? That’s what we’re aiming to find out in Woodlands Local. We are now stocking the existing King Size and the new Superkings Club lines and we will track how the brand performs over coming weeks and months. We’ll report back with Epos data and anecdotal feedback from both customers and staff. It should be an interesting project. See the Woodlands Local pages in next month’s SLR to find out how we’re getting on.

Let us know your experiences of how the relaunched Kensitas Club brand is doing in your store by emailing Antony at FEBRUARY 2018 | SLR



Product News & Media Watch

Hula Hoops Puft Sweet Chilli multipack KP Snacks A new Sweet Chilli multipack is the latest addition to the Hula Hoops Puft family. The new SKU consists of six 15g packs, and is available now. Each pack contains 71 calories, which KP says is the lowest in the entire snacks multipack segment. A £1.5m, three-weeklong marketing campaign supporting Hula Hoops Puft, that included a new TV ad, ran last month.

Walkers Max Strong: ‘perfect with a pint’

Fibre One Cinnamon Drizzle General Mills “Diet-friendly” snacking brand Fibre One has added a Cinnamon Drizzle Squares bar to its existing range of Chocolate Fudge Brownie, Lemon Drizzle Squares and Salted Caramel Squares. A pack of five bars has an RSP of £2.89. Each bar consists of cinnamon-flavoured pieces covered with a vanilla drizzle and contains 90 calories. Fibre One will triple its media presence in early 2018 with the return to the small screen of its ‘Turn Around Barbara’ TV advertising campaign.

Tropicana Essentials Pepsico Tropicana has introduced a new range of functional juices named ‘Tropicana Essentials’. Two 330ml variants are available to the impulse channel: Vitality and Berry Boost. Both RSP at £1.99. Packaging clearly displays some of the fruits and vegetables used within each juice, as well as highlighting the functional benefits. Shopper awareness of the launch will be driven by TV, digital and social media activity, in-store sampling and influencer campaigns.



PepsiCo has unveiled Walkers Max Strong, a new range of spicy ridged crisps aimed at beer lovers and intended drive cross-category sales. Rolling out now, Walkers Max Strong is available in three fiery flavours ranging from medium to extra hot – Chilli & Lime, Hot Chicken Wings and Jalapeño & Cheese. All flavours are available in Sharing Bag (150g, RSP £1.99) and Grab Bag (50g, RSP 80p) formats. There is also a Jalapeño & Cheese Clip Strip Bag (90g, RSP £1) launching from mid-March. Each flavour was designed to complement different types of popular beer.

Bold 3 in 1 Pods P&G P&G’s latest addition to its Bold portfolio is available now in four scents, including Lavender & Camomile; Lotus Flower & Water Lily; Sparkling Bloom & Yellow Poppy; and Gold Orchid & Moringa. Pack sizes are 16, 38 and 55 washes. The launch is backed by the brand’s first TV advert in over a year and in-store promotions are due to go live this month alongside press advertising.

Distinctive packaging highlights Walkers Max Strong’s relevance for beer lovers, and the launch is supported with TV, digital and sampling activity. POS materials including FSDUs, counter top units and clip strips are available, although retailers in Scotland won’t be able to cross-merchandise in the BWS aisle. Rachel Holms, Walkers Senior Marketing Director at PepsiCo, said the launch answers the demand for a perfect snack to go with a pint. “We’re really confident that with the introduction of new flavours, which have been carefully chosen to match with types of beer, the range will be a success.”

Mikado Dark Intense Mondelez International Mondelez International’s fastestgrowing biscuit brand, Mikado, has rolled out its latest variant: Mikado Dark Intense. Available now, the new product combines the Mikado biscuit with melted cocoa, layered with 70% dark chocolate and sprinkled with a hint of salt. In testing, 89% of consumers said they wanted to try the recipe. The Mikado brand is currently worth £7.3m.

Fuze Tea CCEP Coca-Cola European Partners has launched premium iced tea brand Fuze Tea, already established in 40 markets worldwide, in the UK. The two variants – Peach Hibiscus and Mango Chamomile – are a fusion of the flavours of fruits, botanicals and tea. They are available in 400ml PET bottles, with 4 x 400ml multipacks launching in March. The launch is supported by a £4m marketing campaign across TV, print, digital and social channels. Fuze is Soft Drinks Tax exempt.

Product News & Media Watch Fruitilicious Haribo

San Benedetto AG Barr

Haribo has added to the growing number of reduced-sugar products on the market with the launch of Fruitilicious, available now in a range of pack sizes including 165g, 120g and a 155g £1 PMP. It offers 30% less sugar than regular fruit gums, and within the category’s top 25 selling hanging bags, currently delivers the lowest sugar content per 100g. The launch is backed with public relations activity, product sampling and a new TV advert.

Premium Italian soft drinks brand San Benedetto debuts in the UK this month, courtesy of AG Barr. The range include two flavours – Limone and Clementina (Lemon and Orange). Slimline 330ml cans carry an RSP of 85p and are available in outers of 24. San Benedetto contains 12% juice and, with less than 5g of sugar per 100ml, is exempt from April’s forthcoming sugar tax.

Cadbury Oreo Bites Mondelez

FRijj 900ml Müller Müller has launched a pair of 900ml FRijj SKUs to answer customer demand for larger shareable pack sizes that can be kept in the fridge. The 900ml SKUs are available in FRijj’s two most-popular flavours: Strawberry and Fudge Brownie, with an RSP of £1.50. Additional flavours from the existing 400ml on-the-go range may also be introduced in the future.

New Cadbury Oreo Bites (110g) includes small Cadbury bitesize pieces filled with a creamy and crunchy Oreo filling. It RSPs at £1.99 and comes in cases of 10. It is one of two Cadbury/Oreo sharing products new from Mondelez in February. The other is Cadbury Dairy Milk Oreo Sandwich (92g), which offers a layer of Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate between mini Oreo biscuits. It is available in cases of 15, with an RSP of £1.49.



Introducing Mr Hadley CCEP has updated its ‘First Taste’ advert for Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, which originally aired in 2006. The ad features Mr Hadley, care home resident and Coke Zero virgin. His first sip gets him wondering what else in life has passed him by – including taking part in a Pride Parade. Queen’s ‘I Want To Break Free’ forms the soundtrack.

Philadelphia savours the moment Philadelphia is back on screens with a new TV ad, part of a series during 2018 which aims to inspire people to take the time to savour more moments in life and create meals and moments with Philadelphia. The new £5.3m campaign will feature recipes for the lunch and dinner occasion, spanning across TV, press, digital and in-store activity.

‘What would you do for a Maryland?’ Burton’s Biscuit Company kicks-off a new five-month-long £1m marketing campaign for its £50m Maryland cookie brand in February with a month of TV advertising. The ‘What would you do for a Maryland?’ campaign is supported by social media and in-store activity. High impact POS will be accompanied by a major sales push in convenience.

Quorn on the box all year Hazelnut Hobnobs Nibbles pladis

Nakd Blueberry Muffin Natural Balance Foods

McVitie’s has added a new Hazelnut flavour to its Hobnobs Nibbles range in the wake of market research suggesting demand for nut-based products is going to grow for the next five years. The 120g pouches have an RSP of £1.99. Hazelnut joins an existing range that also includes Digestives Nibbles Milk Chocolate, Dark Chocolate, Caramel, and Milk Chocolate Orange, as well as Hobnobs Nibbles Milk Chocolate.

This latest addition to Nakd’s “permissibly indulgent” range of dessert bars comes in response to customer demand for an on-trend Blueberry Muffin variant. Single 35g bars have an RSP of 75p or £2.49 for a multipack of four. Both SKUs are available via wholefood wholesalers such as Greencity Wholefoods. The bars are free from added sugars or syrups, as well as being vegan-friendly and one of your five-a-day.

Quorn has kicked a £14m media blitz for 2018, which sees the brand on TV for 50 weeks of the year. Three different ads will air before April, focussing on Quorn Mince, Quorn Pieces and Quorn Cocktail Sausages. The activity will be backed by PR and digital content focussing on ways to reduce meat consumption as part of a healthy lifestyle.

Werther’s promotes Sugar Free Werther’s Sugar Free has launched a £4m national TV campaign, targeting a growing number shoppers who are looking to lead a healthier lifestyle. The brand is also being supported with POS, including clip strips, dump bins, walk in FSDU, wholesale strips and bus stops. Werther’s is currently growing at +25%.

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Sports & Energy


The Sports & Energy category is in solid growth and continues to drive the market with the key manufacturers working hard to energise the market with low- and no-sugar lines. GIVE YOUR SALES WINGS To help retailers maximise sales, Red Bull offers the following advice: Q Ensure you have the right range. Within Energy, sizes are driving category growth, with core continuing to contribute significantly to share. Q Focus on the key SKUs, giving them the right amount of shelf space to maximise sales. Allocate 50-60% of Soft Drinks space to the top five brands. Ensure 60-70% of space for Sports & Energy brands, in line with share of the category. Q Merchandise the fixture from left to right: Refresh, Stimulate, Hydrate. Q Merchandising signpost brands at eye level improves shop-ability of the fixture by providing a clear starting point for the category. Q Vertical blocking helps shoppers to easily find the product they are looking for.


reat news for local retailers in Scotland is the fact that the Sports & Energy category continues to grow at +1.4% in value and +1.9% in volume YTD [IRI, 2017]. The once-stellar growth figures that the category posted in the past have unsurprisingly come to a halt, but the fact that the category is growing at almost 2% by volume is welcome news. As the number one subcategory in independents, symbols and forecourts, the Sports & Energy sector has continued to drive growth in the last three years to 2016, thanks to an increased spend from Functional Energy drinkers. This trend is set to continue with the category expected to grow 10%, to £1.398bn by 2020. In Scotland, energy is worth around £135m [IRI, Nov 2017]. One of the star performers has been Red Bull, which in 2016 became the UK’s number one single serve drink, overtaking Coca-Cola Original 500ml. The brand is outpacing the category with impressive growth figures of 4.4% by value and 5.2% by volume [IRI, 2017].



Rich Fisher, Category Development Manager at Red Bull UK, comments: “Surpassing Coca-Cola in 2016 played a massive part in contributing an additional £5.6m to the overall brand (+4.4% in value vs. 2015, IRI Dec 16). This demonstrates that consumers are willing to pay more for a premium brand that delivers added value.” Fisher says the focus these days however is shifting towards what he terms ‘positive everyday energy’. He says: “With both consumers and legislators driving demand for low calorie products it is important to stock sugar-free and diet options to offer choice.” Coca-Cola European Partners also sees sugar-free and low calorie as key the future health of the category. Amy Burgess, Trade Communications Manager at CCEP, says: “The Monster Energy Ultra range, which offers four zero sugar fruit flavours, has seen a huge increase of over 112% in the last year [Nielsen, Sep 2017], as much of the success of the energy sector is coming from innovation in low or zero sugar variants. “In 2017 we also launched Monster Hydro, a non-carbonated

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energy product with a resealable wide mouth bottle. Ideal for those with fast paced lifestyles, this launch tapped into the growth of refreshment energy segment, as people look to hydrate whilst on the go.” AG Barr is also focusing on the low-calorie market with its latest category-boosting range, Rockstar Revolt, which comprises two 500ml variants, Killer Citrus and Killer Cooler. These zero-sugar energy drinks don’t compromise on look, taste or energy boost and feature impactful camouflage pack designs. Similarly, Lucozade Zero was launched in 2016 to help retailers tap into this segment and was most popular soft drinks launch of 2016 [IRI, Nov 2016]. Lucozade Zero is still growing at 61% [IRI Nov, 2017] year-onyear, illustrating the popularity and importance of zero-sugar soft drink options.

SIZE MATTERS: Q Core represents 42.6% of sales, whilst occupying just 30.7% space on shelf Q Sizes account for 14.3% of sales, with only 12.8% of space on shelf Q Flavours account for 21.1% of sales, yet currently receive 35.6% space on shelf. [IRI, Feb 2017] 18/12/2017



Cakes & Biscuits

BAKE UP GREAT SALES WITH CAKES AND BISCUITS They may be among the most frequently-shopped categories in convenience, but retailers shouldn’t get complacent over Cakes and Biscuits: it always pays to keep up-to-date with the latest NPD.


ith 44% of UK adults planning more quiet nights in, it’s clear that sharing and more indulgent treats are becoming an increasingly important part of the Cake & Biscuit category. The everyday treat segment, worth £432m, is currently driving the category at +5% [Nielsen, Oct 2017]. To help retailers home in on the products that are creating excitement in this segment of the category, SLR has had a look at some of the biggest NPD to hit the market recently.

WHAT? CADBURY DAIRY MILK OREO SANDWICH AND CADBURY OREO BITES WHY STOCK? Cadbury and Oreo unite once again in both tablets and bags this month with two new sharing products. Building on the success of Cadbury Dairy Milk Oreo in tablets, Cadbury Dairy Milk Oreo Sandwich sees a layer of Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate sandwich between mini Oreo biscuits (RSP £1.49). Cadbury and Oreo will also be looking for a bite of the chocolate bags category with the launch of Cadbury Oreo Bites (RSP £1.99). The new bags will include small Cadbury bitesize pieces filled with a creamy and crunchy Oreo filling. Cadbury Dairy Milk Oreo has been a power co-brand which continues to grow (+16%). It is now worth almost as much as the Oreo brand in the UK – £49m [IRI, Jul 2017].

WHAT? MIKADO DARK INTENSE WHY STOCK? Mondelez International’s fastest-growing biscuit brand, Mikado, has brought an elegant and intense new flavour to the market with the launch of Mikado Dark Intense (RSP £1.45). The new product combines the Mikado biscuit with melted cocoa, layered with intense 70% dark chocolate and sprinkled with a hint of salt.

WHAT? CADBURY FREDDO FACE CAKES & CADBURY FREDDO BISCUITS WHY STOCK? Cadbury Biscuits welcomes the Freddo brand into its range with two new products for families to share. Cadbury Freddo Face Cakes (RSP £1.50) – a soft cake sandwich with a creamy chocolate chip filling and a variety of Freddo faces. Cadbury Freddo Biscuits are available in both plain and PMPs (£1.29). The iconic Freddo character shape makes its debut in biscuit form and will be half-coated in chocolate, ideal for the entire family to share.

WHAT? MCVITIE’S DIGESTIVES THINS WHY STOCK? Launched last year, this product already worth £15m [Nielsen, Dec 2017]. Available in three variants – Milk Chocolate, Milk Chocolate Cappuccino and Dark Chocolate – and also as PMPs, McVitie’s Digestives Thins was developed to attract a younger consumer seeking indulgence.

WHAT? MCVITIE’S DIGESTIVES NIBBLES Why stock? McVitie’s Digestives Nibbles was crowned the biggest sweet biscuit launch of the decade, adding £17m to the category in its first year since launch [Nielsen, Mar 2017]. A new variant – Orange – was launched in August and the products are also available in £1 PMP.

PLADIS’S FIVE STEPS TO BISCUIT SUCCESS: Q Make biscuits impossible to miss: Locate the fixture towards the front of store, close to high footfall areas and adjacent to complementary categories. Q Stock the best-selling lines: Ensure you are stocking the nation’s favourite biscuits to boost your category sales. Q Draw shoppers to the fixture: Merchandise key brands in clear brand blocks to create standout. Place similar product types together so shoppers can easily find what they want and use branded POS to highlight and attract shoppers to the fixture. Q Make prices easy to see: Give shoppers confidence by clearly displaying prices on fixture and use PMPs to demonstrate value for money and fair pricing. Q Maximise impulse and events: Use off-shelf display to drive impulse sales on biscuit promotions. One in five biscuits sold in convenience are for immediate consumption.

CAKE MERCHANDISING TIPS Q Cake is an impulse purchase for many shoppers so give it plenty of feature space and promotion support. Q Group together products that deliver on the same eating occasion. Q Offer as broad a range of products as possible and try not to duplicate the same product type/recipe.





Much as the auld yin would never class himself as a Corrie fan, he nevertheless gets subjected to more of his fair share of the long-running Manchester soap thanks to Mrs UTC’s pathological obsession with the goings-on in Britain’s most famous fictional street. So, imagine the very mild interest generated in the UTC household when the old boy discovered that Coronation Street is to get its very own Co-op. Not just that, it’s also getting a Costa. UTC doesn’t approve of such product placement and took the news as firm confirmation of his suspicion that the Co-op is taking over the world. “Whatever happened to the wee independent newsagent that used to pop up in the show now and again?”, he asked his good lady. To which she responded with a wide-mouthed stare, this being the first time in several decades that her devoted husband had shown even the slightest interest in her favourite TV programme.


The Auld Yin is thinking of launching a new regular monthly column dedicated entirely to companies who have clearly taken their lead from shock-brewers BrewDog who built an entire global company on, well, outrageous PR stunts. The main problem, UTC grudgingly admits, is that BrewDog are actually very good at coming up with clever PR ideas while the wannabes basically aren’t. Take provocatively named Riot Squad, an e-liquid company that recently tried in the most unimaginative way to capitalise on Irn-Bru changing its recipe to reduce sugar. The people at Riot Squad – who refer to themselves as “lunatics” – recently went on a “mission of mayhem” to picket the Irn-Bru offices in Milton Keynes “on behalf of the good people of Scotland”. This absolutely carnage-fuelled stunt involved such shocking tactics as sticking some cardboard signs outside the offices using the worst possible ‘Bru’ puns. Mayhem indeed. “Being the rascals they are,” continued the press release, they came up with such poetic gems as: ‘You’ve BRU-ised our hearts’, ‘This could be the end of our BRU-mance’ and UTC’s personal favourite ‘Orange you out of your mind BRU’, which only works in an English accent. Oh, the irony. [Ed – Shouldn’t that be ‘Oh the IRN-y?] You’ll be astonished to find that Riot Squad have also launched their own Iron Bru e-liquid “in homage”, which was presumably the point of the whole sorry episode in the first place. 54



Ever wondered how much it would take you to earn the same amount of money a professional footballer with the same name as you earns in a week? No, neither had UTC. But when he received a frankly bizarre press release on this very subject from [Ed– who?], he simply had to read on. While he couldn’t find his own name on the list, the auld yin did learn that if you’re called Joe and you’re a typical bloke earning a typical salary, it would take you 4 years, 7 months, 1 week and 3 days to earn the same amount of money as former England goalkeeper Joe Hart earns in a week. This is bearing in mind the fact that Joe Hart is more famous for having dandruff than he is for being any good in goal. So that’s good.


UTC has never shown any signs of being a royalist in the past. To be more precise, UTC has never shown any interest whatsoever in the royal family before, but a sudden passion was kindled recently when he learned that the forthcoming royal wedding was being viewed by many publicans as an opportunity to apply for extended opening hours. The wedding, which happens on the 19th of May, has led the British Beer & Pub Association to demand longer opening hours. UTC was unsurprisingly all for the move. “It’ll be a lovely day for Harry and Camilla or Kate or whatever her name is,” he said, “and we should all be able to celebrate with them.” Hear, hear.

SLR February  

SLR February 2018 edition. SLR is the ONLY magazine exclusively aimed at the locally-owned convenience sector in Scotland.

SLR February  

SLR February 2018 edition. SLR is the ONLY magazine exclusively aimed at the locally-owned convenience sector in Scotland.