Coral Tips
5 min read

Practical tips for independent food retailers to survive rising inflation

Published on
March 8, 2023
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Are you a convenience store owner feeling the heat of rising inflation? Don't worry, you're not alone. In December 2022, the cost of food in the UK hit a massive 16.4%, the highest rate since at least 1977. But, don't let these challenges keep you down. The convenience store sector in the UK has been on the rise, with the number of stores increasing every year since 2012.

Despite these challenges, up until 2022 the convenience store sector in the UK has been growing with the number of convenience stores increasing every year since 2012 – and the total size of the convenience sector now 37% larger than it was ten years ago. After battling the challenges of pandemic lockdowns, the sector must now ensure that they keep a close eye on inflation, or else retailers will not be able to cover their costs and will ultimately struggle to stay afloat.

Here is advice on how convenience stores and independents can save money and increase margins.

Reduce the cost of your stock

Are you tired of high stock costs eating into your profits? There are several ways you can reduce these costs and boost your bottom line.

  1. First, make sure you are taking advantage of any supplier discounts or special offers. These can add up and make a big difference in your overall stock costs.
  2. Second, be on the lookout for promotional ideas that can help you move inventory and reduce excess stock. This could include running sales or offering discounts to customers when particular stock is likely to be in demand.
  3. Finally, consider signing up for Coral, a wholesale price comparison website. With Coral, you can quickly discover the best prices on over 10,000 products that you stock in your store. This can help you find the most cost-effective options for the items you need to keep your business running smoothly.

By following these simple tips, you can reduce the cost of your stock and increase your profits.

Introduce cost-saving measures in your store

Retailers can also introduce money saving ideas, such as reducing energy and water usage and cutting back on unnecessary expenses

  1. Reducing energy and water usage: Small changes, such as turning off lights and equipment when not in use, and fixing leaks and drips, can add up to significant savings on utility bills.
  2. Cutting back on unnecessary expenses: Grocery stores can review their expenses and identify areas where they can cut back, such as cutting subscriptions to services they no longer use.
  3. Always compare prices on insurance or energy services.
  4. Investing in technology: Retailers can also invest in technology, such as POS systems, that can help them manage their business more efficiently and reduce the time and effort spent on manual tasks.

Offering promotions and discounts to attract more customers

Retailers can also attract customers and increase sales by offering promotions and discounts. This can include bundling products together, offering discounts on bulk purchases, and running special promotions.

  1. Bundling products together: Small convenience stores can offer customers discounts on bundled products, such as a "buy one, get one free" promotion, or a discount on a set of related items. This can help increase the average purchase size and drive sales.
  2. Offering discounts on bulk purchases: Small convenience stores can also offer customers discounts when they purchase large quantities of a single product. This can be an effective way to clear excess inventory, and can encourage customers to stock up and save money.
  3. Running special promotions: Small convenience stores can also run special promotions, where certain items are discounted, or a "spend £X, get £Y off" promotion. These promotions can be advertised through in-store signage, social media, or email marketing to drive traffic and sales.

Offering promotions and discounts can be a powerful tool for small convenience stores to attract customers and increase sales. By bundling products together, offering discounts on bulk purchases, and running special promotions, small convenience stores can remain competitive and generate additional revenue.

Stocking the right range of products

Convenience store owners, it's time to take control of your margins. One way to do this is by stocking the right range of products. Diversifying your product line to include more profitable items, such as private label products or high-margin items, can help offset the impact of rising food costs and inflation.

But it's not just about the products, it's also about understanding your customers. Are there certain products they're looking for that you're not currently stocking? Keep in mind that customer demographics and buying patterns can change quickly, especially in areas with high levels of renters. Stay ahead of the game by understanding your customer base and offering the products they want.

In conclusion, maintaining a healthy margin is crucial for the success of your business. By implementing cost-saving measures, offering promotions and discounts, and diversifying the product mix, you can protect your margins and ensure the long-term success of your convenience store.


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