Quench a thirst

Warmer weather brings a big sales opportunity

Warm weather puts hydration top of the agenda and whether it’s a health conscious consumer on the go or a family trip to the park, the summer brings plenty of customers into convenience stores looking for bottled water.
Sales don’t make themselves however, and firms behind some of the top water brands in Scotland’s convenience stores have offered their advice on how retailers can capitalise on consumer thirst when the mercury rises.

Immediate consumption makes up the bulk of bottled water sales in the warmer months but there’s also an opportunity to cash in with a strong take home offer.

Amy Burgess of Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) reckons bottled water is “one of the fastest growing soft drinks sectors”, making it well placed to pick up sales growth in the summer.

For independent and symbol retailers, Burgess said immediate consumption formats make up the bulk of sales, but not all, while future consumption water sales “are also in growth.”
“So it’s also important for retailers to recognise the sales potential as people stock up on water for the week ahead,” said Burgess.
The appeal of bottle water in warmer weather was also highlighted by Maurice Newton, commercial director at Clearly Drinks.

Newton said purchases of chilled drinks “increases considerably” in the summer months, meaning retailers must ensure that there is plenty of chilled availability,
Impulse should do well but, echoing Burgess, Newton suggested there’s an opportunity to push sales further through take home sales.
To cater to the “summer night in market”, Newton reckons retailers should “consider offering BOGOF deals on larger format drinks and food multipacks.”
“This will cater to the many social events enjoyed in warmer weather such as barbecues and parties,” said Newton.

“Merchandising soft drinks and snacks alongside barbecues will lead to incremental sales and increased profit.”
The importance of strong merchandising was also highlighted by Carol Saunders, head of customer marketing at Highland Spring.

Saunders said that retailers take advantage of bottled water’s position as a “relatively risk-free purchase” for shoppers by building off shell displays that “stop shoppers in their tracks and provide trade-up opportunities”.
“By blocking products vertically and by brand, it makes your shoppers’ selection process simpler allowing them to make quicker choices and convert to purchase faster,” said Saunders.
“Make sure your best selling products are at eye level and positioned centrally to drive further sales.”
Giving best sellers the space they need is crucial for summer success, suggested Saunders, who advised retailers not to go overboard when it comes to ranging.
“Keeping the range on shelf tight will help shoppers find what they want quickly and ensure the high selling lines stay in stock,” she said.