SG workSHOP: Category management: Warburtons, Scotfresh Cardonald and Denny

Our four-page SG workSHOP special looks at how Warburtons can transform a convenience retailer’s wrapped bakery sales with the implementation of a bakery category in store.

Cardonald in Glasgow and Denny in Falkirk are key sites for the Scotfresh retail chain, which currently has eight stores spread across the central belt.

THE white sliced loaf is one of the building blocks of the modern convenience store. However, wrapped bread is a category that has been in decline in recent years, as customers have moved towards sandwich alternatives, in-store bakeries or away from carbs altogether.

Advocating that wrapped bakery still offers a huge opportunity for convenience retailers, Warburtons recently partnered with the convenience retail chain Scotfresh to demonstrate the value of implementing a best-in-class bakery category in stores.

The project, undertaken in March, saw changes made to the range, layout and fixtures in Scotfresh stores in Cardonald, Glasgow, and Denny, Falkirk.

Scottish Grocer accompanied retail development area manager John Clarke and territory managers Alan Thomas and Gordon Bond on their visits to the sites to learn more about the Warburtons strategy.
At each site the main bread fixture was relocated to the front of the store, the range expanded and remerchandised according to category advice, and highlighted with the addition of POS stripping on the shelves.

Relocating the fixture to the front of store is key to boosting traffic and spend, Clarke said:
“Back in the heyday of the big supermarkets, the consensus was that bread had to go at the back of the shop to force people to walk all the way across the store

Alan Thomas, retail development territory manager for Warburtons, talks through the layout of Scotfresh Cardonald’s new bakery and rolls category with store manager Tommy Miller.

“What we believe is, because it’s convenience, the people who are coming in, more often than not, are in for a distress purchase. And if people can’t see bread at the front of the shop, sometimes they’ll think there is none, and they can’t be bothered to go all the way to the back end of the shop to check.
“Now, when people are driving by or walking past these stores they can see immediately that they have fresh bread for sale.

“We’ve also tried to align it with daily commodities by putting it into the first bays. People are coming in for a paper, a drink, a loaf. We’re trying to get the flow right for the customer.
“They’ll spend more in the category when they see more of it, because we’ve improved visibility of the range and increased availability of best-selling products. A lot of customers won’t realise just how much has been available in store because up until now it was all hidden at the back.”

The team also introduced off-fixture displays for bakery products, encouraging impulse purchases of new or promoted items like Warburtons crumpets and Toastie Pockets.
Scotfresh managing director Chris Gallacher said the main reason Scotfresh decided to get behind the trial was to stop the decline in the category.
He said relocating bakery items to the front of the store had proven key to boosting sales, but more importantly they had increased their range of ‘non-bread’ bakery goods (sandwich thins, bagels, Toastie Pockets, etc) to ensure they kept up with current consumer demand.

“With bread being on most consumers’ shopping lists we knew at Scotfresh we had to make the change and get it right,” he said.
“Warburtons have provided a range that works not only for our top-up customer, but we now have tasty treats for those who buy on impulse.
“The increased range gave us challenges within the section, however off-shelf equipment has helped and given us the opportunity to promote non-bread products in more impulsive areas.
“Finally, the change has made us concentrate on key fundamentals.”

He said within bakery, as a result of the project, his teams were now making sure to get the following right every time:

• Availability on key lines
• Maintaining freshness
• Ease of shop
• Secondary sighting of NPD and non- bread products on and off shelf
• Competitive pricing

Three months on from the workshop and the results in sales terms (right) speak for themselves.
“I can safely say the work John and the team have done has paid off,” said Chris.
“It just shows working with suppliers to drive the category forward really does work. Based on the current performance I will look to roll this out across the business.”


Prior to undergoing their workshops with Warburtons, the bakery sections at Scotfresh Cardonald and Denny were located towards the rear of the stores and tightly packed to make use of limited space. Core wrapped bread and rolls were restricted to one bay, with little scope to highlight new products.


In Scotfresh Denny, which has seen the most dramatic improvement in sales, wrapped bread and rolls have been relocated to the very front of the store, clearly visible to passersby in the street outside, with significant shelf space given to premium products and NPD. For most customers, the category is now the first they will shop.

In Scotfresh Cardonald, the relaunched bakery category takes up five shelves and four bays at the front of the store.
New and added-value products are positioned near the top while the cheapest loaves are located on the bottom shelf following a good, better, best merchandising principle.
Products are positioned on shelf to highlight the broad variety on offer.

Different sub-categories are clearly merchandised through the use of colour-coded shelf-edge stripping.
And sandwich alternatives – an area of growth for bakery2 – are given significant space with additional off-fixture stands.