Product-display training leads to sweet success

Industrial and Commercial Training

ISSN: 0019-7858

Article publication date: 4 October 2011



(2011), "Product-display training leads to sweet success", Industrial and Commercial Training, Vol. 43 No. 7.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Product-display training leads to sweet success

Article Type: Notes and news From: Industrial and Commercial Training, Volume 43, Issue 7

Training staff how to display products to encourage customers to buy more of them produced outstanding returns for a food-service organization and its confectionery supplier.

Aramark employs more than 12,000 people in UK, at almost 1,000 employee restaurants, coffee bars and retail outlets. Its customers include universities, colleges, off-shore oil and gas rigs, businesses and hospitals. Cadbury is its key confectionery supplier. Based on statistical analysis, Cadbury estimated that Aramark was missing £880,000 in confectionery sales a year because of poor product range and display.

Working closely together, and capitalising on Cadbury’s retail expertise and knowledge to display and sell confectionery to maximize sales, training teams from both companies targeted education-based sales, where the estimated additional-sales opportunity was £199,500 a year.

They developed a simple but detailed CD training package that could be delivered on site. The CD helped restaurant staff to display the right confectionery products in line with Cadbury’s tried and tested “planograms” – diagrams designed to make the product attractive to buyers because it is laid out neatly and face-up. The aim was to improve planogram compliance from 47 to 90 percent.

The training was also designed to give catering managers, supervisors and teams responsible for filling shelves a better understanding of retail and marketing, and of how important confectionery is in increasing overall sales.

Aramark and Cadbury identified 60 further and higher-education sites, responsible for delivering more than 80 percent of their education revenue. The aim was to train 120 site managers and supervisors and 300 team members.

By using the CD, which could be viewed in a quiet, half-hour period, Aramark projected that in just four months, sales would increase by £66,500. The training was reinforced by road-shows.

Vicky La Trobe, Aramark marketing director, education, explained: “Aramark and Cadbury supported the managers in our business by launching the CD at our three summer road-shows, named Hit the Ground Running. In total we showed the CD to more than 120 of our managers and we trained them how to use it with their teams. For those who did not attend, full notes, presentation copies and instructions were sent after the event.”

The training, a regional winner in the National Training Awards, provided a 1,250 percent return on investment.

“Given the economic climate, this represents a significant contribution to the company’s revenue. Engaging our team members to build ownership at the front line was central to driving this result. Now that we have a tried and tested format for training this is being replicated with some of our other key suppliers. We aim to build up a suite of training tools to drive our retail cash sales while building mutually beneficial relationships with our supply partners,” commented Morag McCay, retail-development director.

Aramark has now put its materials online for ease of access, and has run the training at 300 sites. In the year after the training was introduced, confectionery sales were 31 percent more than predicted.

Morag McCay, concluded: “The training enabled our managers and their teams to understand how to display products to maximize consumer interest, create the opportunity to drive impulse sales and strategically promote products.”

“Most importantly, the training triggered a change in mindset. Our managers began to believe in their own potential to learn key retail principles to make a difference and to appreciate that executing these was something that anyone can do with the right training. This change in mindset created an enthusiasm to operate differently.”

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