A tailored package that’s at the forefront of innovative solutions for the professional independent retailer, which offers superb value and service combined with the best retail support and knowledge available in the industry. That’s how Palmer & Harvey (P&H) describes its Partnership Plus initiative.

Richard Hayhoe, director of marketing, explains: "Partnership Plus provides fully tailored retail solutions carefully matched to both format and region, to boost the sales and profits of independent customers in areas such as specialised category management, stock merchandising, business advice which identifies new sales opportunities, exclusive promotional packages for big brand products and an extensive point of sale package for in-store theatre.

"It provides independent retailers with the type of support that other major competitive retailers in the grocery sector have been enjoying for years. It gives the kind of added value support that head offices offer - the sort of marketing clout that managers of the multiple convenience stores can sometimes take for granted."

According to Hayhoe, Partnership Plus has been a big hit with retailers, with nearly 1,400 live accounts and hundreds more pending. He says retailers are reporting excellent results and overall, P&H is reporting an 18% increase in average sales of customers taking part.


=== Case study ===

"St Michael’s Services is relatively small, but we manage to cram a lot into 500sq ft. We are open 24 hours, doing about 1,500-1,800 transactions a day. I’d describe us as a modern forecourt shop that sells a good convenience offer, with an off-licence, food-to-go, Lottery, PayPoint, ATM and coffee machine. On the forecourt, we offer six different grades of BP fuel including LPG and red fuel.

"I have always tried to keep the business fresh. I have refitted the store a few times since taking over in 1998, and keep up-to-date with IT and epos systems. Epos is absolutely critical for the business. It’s very easy to get lulled into the idea that, as a retailer, you have a feel for the business without the need for data - that’s just poppycock.

"Sales have gone up by about 5% over the past year, and us joining Partnership Plus has definitely played its part in that growth. The comprehensive brochure that comes through every three weeks has helped drive sales. It gives me product rankings for every category, based on regional sales data, allowing me to stock fast-selling products.

"P&H tells me that I earned the highest reward back in Scotland from Partnership Plus. The rewards - based on a regular audit - have actually helped make me more disciplined in my promotional offers. They change every three weeks. The gondola-end promotions tend to be best-selling lines anyway, so they really help generate interest and give my customers great value. I’ve also been impressed with the support I get from my P&H rep. She used to come in to sell me more products, but now helps me achieve the best results for the store."