Top 50 Indie M&L Richardson & Sons has helped Spar wholesaler James Hall & Co to reach a milestone in the roll out of its Centralised Store Replenishment (CSR) facility.

M&L Richardson has seven Spar shops across Cumbria, and its Spar Low Row Service Station was the 50th independently-owned store to go live on CSR, taking the total number of stores using the system – including company-owned stores – to more than 200.

The CSR system uses each store’s sales and stock levels to generate an accurate forecast and a suggested order. CSR monitors and manages the overall stock holding to ensure that the minimum amount of stock is held, while maximising product availability.

M&L Richardson director Martyn Richardson commented: “CSR helps us in many ways. It cuts out human errors and makes ordering more efficient. It also keeps our stock levels down which make it easier to work stock and helps cash flow.

“It also provides useful reports and information to help review slow-sellers. At Low Row we have noticed an immediate improvement in availability and optimised stock holding. We also appreciate the support and knowledge of the ordering team at James Hall who help us with each order. It seems like a no-brainer, all retailers could benefit from CSR.”

James Hall & Co started trialling the CSR system in their company-owned stores in November 2007. John Walmsley, retail systems advisor at James Hall, said: “We saw around a 1% like-for-like sales increase in the stores on CSR by maximising availability, while also minimising our overall stock holding.

“CSR was adjusted to suit independent retailers and was trialled in 2012. Since then it has been carefully and gradually rolled out, until we began to invite other retailers to join in 2016. Since 2016 we have gone from just a dozen stores using CSR to 50, with more in the pipeline.”