Countdown has illustrated the benefits of its Price Down programme to 700 of its suppliers at the company’s six monthly supplier update, held at the Vodafone Events Centre last month, and also attended by Prime Minister John Key.

The company told suppliers that those involved in the Price Lockdown programme, are enjoying sales increases of 30 percent on average; the equivalent to 10 years of growth in one step. Speaking at the event, acting general manager of merchandise, Antoine Dupont emphasised the business’ ongoing commitment to its Price Down strategy and highlighted that not only were suppliers seeing the benefit, but customers too.

“We track a basket of 100 of the most commonly purchased items in its supermarket and this has come down by 1.5 percent in the past year. Our customers are responding well to our strategy and our lower prices, which has seen Kiwis save over $100 million,” Dupont said. Countdown also explained how it is using data insights to better target its ranging to local communities, so that their supermarkets can better serve its customers.

Chris Fisher, Head of Data Analytics, demonstrated how data analysis had identified four types of store clusters, rural community, bustling centre, shared spaces (i.e. malls) and neighbourhood stores. Into the future, different store types will have different layout, flow and ranging.

“Our analysis is proving proved critical to determining how we can improve ranging in stores. We know, for example, that stores located in malls tend to sell less apparel, but more light bulbs. Less surprisingly, kindling doesn’t sell well in supermarkets in rural areas,” Fisher said.

Countdown’s new Mangere East store, which opened in August, was an example of this new data driven approach to ranging in action.

“By removing one aisle and putting in 16 percent fewer SKU’s, we were able to create more room for customers to see the products that they wanted.Since opening the store with a tailored range, it is substantially ahead of anticipated performance to date, even before the car park has opened,” Fisher said. John Cooper from IRI Aztec also presented a new Entry Level Insights data package to provide smaller suppliers with more affordable data access.