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Frequently Asked Questions - Q&A

What is Partners for Growth?

£1.2 billion-worth of sales are missed every year in the convenience sector when shoppers cannot find what they want in store. Partners for Growth, from Unilever, is the longest running category management initiative that aims to help retailers minimise lost sales, and improve the way they do business, benefiting retailers, shoppers and manufacturers at the same time.

Why should I use Partners for Growth?

Partners for Growth advice is unbiased advice, and proven to help grow category sales by up to 42%. The programme has been running for over 15 years and has been recognised by retailers and wholesalers alike. Wholesalers have named it best merchandising advice six years in a row and in a recent retailer survey, 95% of retailers said they would recommend the programme to other retailers. 

What are the benefits of following Partners for Growth advice?

In an online survey of retailers, every single one who’d used the Partners for Growth advice had seen a sales uplift of at least 10% in the relevant category – and 88% saw a rise of more than 20%. Some have seen sales increase by more than 40%. 

What advice is included?

Available on the website is advice covering ranging and merchandising to help you maximise your category sales, which includes a range of different size planograms and bestseller lists to suit your store space. You will also find information to help you identify what missions your shoppers are on and how to layout your store to cater for these missions.

You will also benefit from expert advice from our award winning Retailer Advisory Panel, who have helped us develop a series of useful business tools and insights on business planning, staff management, engaging with your communities and better understanding your customers.

How much time will it take?

You can boost your sales in as little as 30 minutes by reorganising and reviewing one category fixtures, but with a little more time spent, you can reap great rewards.

Doesn’t your advice just push your own brands like other manufacturer advice?

No! Partners for Growth really is unbiased advice! Using respected data sources, we compile lists of the best-selling products in our eight categories, whether these are Unilever products or from rival manufacturers. Stocking the right range is the best way to grow your sales and if your sales grow, so do ours! 

Will it only work if I stick to the planograms and advice?

The advice is not designed to be prescriptive, but to provide a sound starting point. You can then make changes to suit your specific shelf space and customer affluence, own label products or new lines you want to try. 

What is a planogram and why would I want to use one?

A planogram is a plan that helps you optimise your range and use your shelf space most efficiently. It means you make the most of your space, with the products that sell best positioned in the right place for shoppers to find them.  Using a planogram also helps you stay disciplined about re-ordering; you can see immediately where you’re running low. 

How do I use a planogram and how long will it take?

Click on a category. You’ll find a ‘best-sellers’ list and suggested planograms to suit different-sized stores. If you’re not stocking the best-selling products, think about replacing slow-moving stock with more popular lines. Find the planogram that suits your store and arrange your stock accordingly. It costs nothing and it shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes – it could be the most profitable 30 minutes you’ll ever spend.

“After reviewing the planogram and seeing which products should be removed and which we needed to stock, we set about changing the fixture and waited for the results. When we checked our stats we were amazed to find that sales had increased by 42%. The time we spent has really paid off."

Gail Mather, Sherston Stores, Wilshire 

How often should I review my range?

It is crucial to know the category best-sellers to ensure you have the most effective range. It’s also important to know how and where to display products. Regular reviews – say once a quarter – will help you keep up to date. 

How can I improve the layout of my store?

Knowing the right place to put products is also key to success in convenience. Partners for Growth has done pioneering research into shopper ‘missions’ (the reasons shoppers come into the store). It can help you understand your customers’ missions and suggest various ways to maximise your profits from these by putting certain categories next to each other. (Link)

Can you provide personalised advice to help me with my fixture?

Yes, if you send us a photograph of your category fixture, our category experts will develop a personalised 5 point action plan and send you a planogram to help you relay your fixture. Find out more here (Shelfie link) 

Can I send a question to your Retail Advisory Panel members?

Yes if you have a question for our Panel members to respond to, please click on the contact us link and summarise your question, detailing the business issues or challenges, and we will get back to you with their response within 5 days. Alternatively we meet with the panel 4 times a year, so if you have a topic you would like to discuss at the meeting, let us know.