Retailers are changing rapidly – are you prepared?

Retailers are rapidly selling off assets – whether it is to pay down debt, fund an upcoming price war, or invest in their retail estate for a more exciting shopping environment – either way, we all need to be ready! Learn how Sellex can maximise your commercial capability.

According to Knight Frank, around £2.49bn worth of food retail space was bought and sold in 2023. That’s a phenomenal number and just some of the recent and likely future examples of the changing landscape are:

  • Tesco selling their stake in Tesco Bank to Barclay’s for £700m
  • Morrisons reportedly appointing Deloitte to explore options to dispose of their Bakery business, Rathbones and the recent sale of their Petrol Filling Stations for £2.5bn to Motor Fuel Group
  • Sainsbury’s announcement of their Next Level Strategy, building on Food First, will undoubtedly involve significant investment in the store environment
  • Waitrose and John Lewis very clear step towards mass redundancies

Volumes are struggling to bounce back, relationships are strained

Branded manufacturers are seriously struggling for volume, retailers are simplifying their organisations. Everyone is worried about 2024.

It’s little wonder Bain are reporting increasingly strained relationships between retailers and suppliers. All of this as efficiencies have been optimised and headcount cut to the bone! According to Bain, overhead costs amongst are “meaningfully lower than in 2008”. There are few cost and efficiency levers left to be pulled in developed markets.

There is significant inefficiency of trade spend in developed markets, all the investment does not need to be refocused towards volume-driving developing markets

Bain argues that large branded manufacturers will focus more resources on developing markets to drive volume growth. At Sellex we do not subscribe to the thought process that more resources (£/€/$) are required to drive volume growth in developed markets, just a smarter approach to cross-functional, insight-driven working.

It doesn’t have to be a bleak picture. Difficult times call for different thinking.  At Sellex, we are proud to support manufacturers and retailers alike in unearthing efficient growth opportunities to maximise commercial capability.

Here are 5 ways Sellex can help:

Commercial Confidence

We stand for supporting the industry we love by developing Commercial Confidence at all levels of our clients' organisation. The world of work has changed, and the relationships between suppliers and customers are changing, we are here to support people through this with one-to-one coaching, through thought-leading “open” training programmes available to all in our industry.

Commercial Marketing

We don’t talk about Shopper Marketing as a role. This suggests it is one person's responsibility (The Shopper Marketing Manager). Commercial Marketing is the collaboration of Brand Manager, Category Manager, Shopper Marketing Manager, Business Manager, and Supply Chain Manager – to maximise the opportunity in stores, right first time, every time. Sellex can support this evolution to ensure Shopper Marketing and Retail Media investment is fully understood, executed brilliantly, and embraced within your business as a whole. It’s a significant and growing cost item on everyone’s P&L, it needs to be handled with care.

Preventative Execution

So many organisations are still under-utilising the power of retailer data to prevent execution issues before they happen. Retail Execution can make or break a campaign but can also be hugely wasteful. At Sellex, we have experience running highly effective Contractual and Tactical Field Sales campaigns. We believe in minimizing physical coverage and we know how to protect market share and achieve volumes through a “blended coverage” (physical and virtual) approach.

Revenue Growth Management

With over 20 years’ experience in Revenue Management, at Sellex we know the positive impact that this focus can have on a client’s P&L. We work with clients to optimize the effectiveness of their spend over time, giving them the confidence that they’re investing in the right promotions and helping them to make more informed investment choices.

Commercial Organisational Design

Every year, Sellex helps many clients understand how a total Commercial Organisation should work together to delight customers. It’s not simply about what roles need to be populated, it’s about the commercial competencies required to thrive in the future, the commercial routines required to maximise sales and the support required of individuals and teams to maximise Commercial Confidence.

Our experienced team of consultants and trainers have walked in manufacturer and retailer shoes. We can support you throughout 2024 and beyond to navigate a challenging (but we believe opportunity-filled!) year.

For an initial conversation, please get in touch via our contact form or call our Managing Director Anthony Carr on 07342 084166 or Euan McGlashan, our Director of Consulting on 07796 191617.