20200406 insights

As a symbol store do you ever feel neglected after signing your contract? Do you feel your store is lacking a great range of products to entice customers? Are you struggling to grow your sales and profit and worry about what the future holds? The amount of support you get shouldn’t depend on the amount of stock you purchase. If all of this feels familiar, now might be the time to explore all the benefits franchising has to offer.

Is your symbol group helping to keep your store looking fresh and modern?

As part of a symbol group you should be given help and direction on maintaining and improving your store. This should extend beyond the fascia and promotional point of sale to include layout, theatre and frequently refreshed permanent point of sale to keep the store looking modern and clean.

With customers having so much choice nowadays, they no longer have to visit their local store just because it’s convenient. Increased competition means that customers expect better store standards and customer service. The difference between a franchise and symbol model, is that standards between the stores within a symbol group can differ greatly as they focus predominantly on wholesaling.

There should be procedures in place to check that your store is visually appealing in order to attract customers. If you feel that you aren’t getting enough advice, support and ideas on how to continue to grow your business, there are other retail partners that offer the support you’re looking for.

One Stop stores are individually unique, but with one thing in common, exceptional brand standards. This is because we co-invest up to £50,000 into every store refit, ensuring that the entire estate is consistent from a look & feel and customer experience point of view. Our franchisees benefit from market-leading promotions supported by an extensive point of sale kit that includes additional in-store theatre to help maximise sales during key seasonal events.

Does your symbol group help make sure you have the right range for your customers?

Are you struggling to sell stock even though you’re receiving a steady flow of customers through the door?

Many retailers try to be everything to every customer. It’s hard to say, “I’m sorry we don’t stock that”, but in reality, stocking products that you only sell to a handful of customers, means you aren’t maximising every inch of your stores true potential. It’s common practice for a store to be allocated stock to fulfil promotional sales, which isn’t always the right range for your customers. Quite often when it doesn’t sell, it ends up as part of your main fixture, taking up valuable space.

In any one year, One Stop completes over 25 range reviews across all its categories with Chilled & Fresh having two – due to its more seasonal nature. Important changes, such as brand launches are not missed either with minor planogram amends made throughout the year. One Stop work closely with their franchisees, combining our extensive customer insight with a franchisee’s local knowledge, to formulate a planogram that ensures they have the right range to consistently meet their customers ever-changing needs.

Does your group help you use sales data to drive profit ?

The convenience market continues to evolve at pace and so do customers shopping habits. It’s easy to collect data but not as easy creating actionable insights in order to grow sales and profit. Data is fundamental to managing and developing any business. If you choose to discard your data each week, you cannot optimise the learnings from your store and manage your business effectively.

Do you have a reporting suite that allows you to quickly understand what is happening in your store? Linked systems are important to all businesses, as they can provide:

  • Sales by line and category to ensure you have the right products in the right space
  • Daily out of stocks helping you ensure you’re ordering enough and not letting your customers down
  • Access to stock holding to aid better cash flow
  • Visibility of your basket spend and customer count to help with staffing and to understand your peaks and troughs
  • Understand your financial Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to gauge your business’ health.

If you don’t have visibility of all the above and more, you might want to consider One Stop’s easy-to-use system that’s designed to take the hard work out of the day-to-day running of your store. In addition to our market-leading two-lane EPoS system, Franchisees have access to a wide-range of reports including sales & margin, promotional period analysis and total business performance. All designed to give you the insights you need to make the most of every square inch in your store.

Is your symbol group actively helping you to grow your business?

There’s never been a more challenging time to be a convenience retailer. Fierce competition coupled with rising costs and changing shopping habits, requires you to be at the top of your game. Not only do you need to quickly adapt to change, but you’ve got to come up with more and more new ideas to give your store a competitive edge. A common reason retailers look to switch symbol group is due to lack of support, so ask yourself:

  • Do you see a BDM / Area Manager every single month and do they add value?
  • Is it starting to feel like your level of support is based on how much you buy?
  • Are your sales consistently growing year-on-year?
  • Is your store reaching its full potential?

Did you know that on average One Stop franchisees grow their sales by 10% in the first year of joining? If you feel like your store could go up another level with the right support, perhaps it’s time to speak to the convenience retail experts. Every One Stop franchisee has their own dedicated Business Development Manager visit every 4 weeks. During their three-hour visit, your BDM work with you and your store team to help grow sales and cash profit.

Working together they will co-create clear action plans to drive continuous improvement throughout stores, a big part of this is providing their franchisees with an indicative P&L every month, which ensures a clear proactive financial plan is set out.

Rakhee Patel and Paul Wilson. One Stop. Barton-upon-Humber. United Kingdom.