Drink to the future

AS the store manager of Day-Today in Wallyford near Edinburgh, Christina Petrogianni, pointed out in our opening article on C-store essentials, beers, wines and spirits is a crucial category for many Scottish c-stores.
It’s one that brings challenges. It’s an age-restricted category and in recent years it has been affected by a series of restrictions on marketing and promotion.
But the fact that cut-price multibuys are banned, and big-night-in cross-merchandising is not possible in most cases, just makes it all the more important to get the basics of alcohol ranging and merchandising right.
We’re heading for a big summer of sport so it’s probably wise to prepare now for any rush on beers, ciders, wines and other long drinks. Keep reserve stocks, ready-chilled if at all possible, in the back store.
Although you can’t cross-merchandise with sharing sizes of snacks, it is possible to have different big-night-in items close together so long as items other than alcohol and soft drinks don’t stray into the alcohol zone. Make the best of price deals by siting the relevant drinks in special stacks within your alcohol area as well as in their normal space on the main fixture.
• The most recent Britvic Soft Drinks Review showed that, across on-and off-trade premises, soft drinks is a product category that is worth more than £10bn in the UK.
C-stores can do especially well from sales of chilled soft drinks for immediate consumption. And energy drinks have risen to become the most important section of c-store soft drinks in terms of sales value while products like colas still head the list in terms of volume sold.
Typical category management advice is to arrange drinks by sub-category, to give substantial, prominent space to big-selling lines, and highlight deals and promotions.
• Tobacco is an essential c-store category but major changes will soon take place as a result of the forthcoming tobacco display ban. We’ll look in depth at what the changes will mean in the next issue of SG.