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The following article is brought to you by Coors Brewers.The seven steps to establishing the right range.You will no doubt have been told that...

The following article is brought to you by Coors Brewers.

The seven steps to establishing the right range.

You will no doubt have been told that stocking the right products is extremely important to your business - but why is that? And how do you know you have achieved the right range?

Stocking the correct brands leads to:

  • Improved finances by reducing the amount of cash tied up in slow-moving stock.
  • Optimising the use of your chiller and back-bar which is crucial because space is limited.
  • Meeting - and exceeding - your customers' expectations, which will in turn encourage them to stay longer and entice them to visit more frequently.

Conducting a range review is not as daunting as you might first imagine. Here are seven steps to consider:

1: Work out WHY

Customers have many different reasons for visiting a bar. Work out why they are visiting your bar. Are they eating, having a quiet drink after work or starting off on a big night out. The reason a customer is visiting the bar will help to influence their choice of drink. For more information on consumers' occasionality please see our previous article on thePublican.com.

2: Tap into trends

Review the market trends. Are there any new brands that have come to the market that you should consider stocking? Read the trade press, go to trade fairs or talk to your brewery account manager. If you think you cater for drinkers who are on a "big night out" then you should consider stocking "shot" brands (Screamers or Sidekick). This is a relatively new sector but one which has seen enormous growth and will bring incremental sales. Another example is the trend for colder drinks. Studies have shown that stocking Carling Extra Cold increases year on year Carling sales by over eight per cent compared to two per cent in non-Carling Extra Cold Carling stockist (Source: Coors Internal Sales data, Nov 02 - Apr 03).

3: Does your stocking hold up to scrutiny?

Look at the product categories that you already stock. Do they meet the customers' requirements for the occasions that you specialise in? For example if you are a pub that specialises in good quality food then you should consider stocking specialist beers that could be paired with food (eg Hoegaarden and mussels or Worthington White Shield with pâté).

4: A draughty issue

It is likely that the majority of your beer volume is generated from your draught brands. You need to strike a balance between market leading brands (Carling, Stella Artois, John Smith's, etc) and brands which contribute a high profit margin. Draught lager accounts for 54 per cent of sales (AC Nielsen Jan 03), but are half your fonts lager? Remember just because a draught brand is expensive it does not necessarily follow that it has a high margin.

5: Get on the A list

When thinking about your packaged products then you should consider if there are any brands that you need to be delisted. By examining each brands rates of sale, those brands, which have a low throughput, should be delisted. Doing this will free up more chiller space for other brands which have a higher rate of sale.

6: The price is right

Another factor to consider is the profit margin that you are making on each brand. Brands with a low margin should either be de-listed or have their price altered to bring them into line with the other brands. If the brand has a low margin but still needs to be stocked (because removing it may risk losing an influential customer) then the brand should be given little visibility. High throughput brands need to be given enough chiller space so that customers will always receive a cold product (few people enjoy a warm beer).

7. And finally...

  • Think about where to put products with a high rate of sale and high profit margins.
  • Make the most of what "hot spots" - areas of the chiller and back-bar that are the most visible.
  • Products with the highest rate of sale or the highest
    percentage of profit should go in hot spots.
  • Effective point-of-purchase material will enhance your
    overall retail offer.
  • Keep all your point-of-sale material fresh and up to date.
  • Ensure your barstaff are fully versed in and aware of every promotion and offer.

Customer tastes change and so don't look upon range reviewing as a one-off exercise. See it as an opportunity every six months to keep your brand offerings fresh and relevant

For a free copy of Coors' "Hot Spots" information package please call 0845 6001777 quoting "Hot Spots".

Related topics: Other operators

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