Over 600 suppliers were updated on current Countdown thinking at the late August supplier briefing, part of the company’s regular expo and its annual gala awards dinner.
Amongst the day’s presenters, general manager of merchandise Chris Fisher said the retail grocer was spending too much time and money on promotion, especially in-store where labels, signage, logistics and general administration was of concern.
He said the company had recognised the need for change, and the 62 percent level of sales on promotion in 2014 had reduced to 52 percent last year, being reduced even further to 41 percent in 2016. Fisher added that the company’s Lock Down programme had proved its worth with first year sales increases on participating products hitting over 33 percent.
Among his other points were the high levels of deliveries not hitting their time schedules and the quality of inbound deliveries where bad stacking and broken pallets were causing safety issues. General manager of operations Brett Ashley covered a number of topics and spoke of the faster shelf filling that has been brought about by the use of shelf ready trays (SRT) rather than loose stock.
And Liz May, general manager of logistics, commented that there was an overall industry trend for Christmas deliveries and stock supplies worsening. She asked for a more robust holiday programme where massive sales opportunities were lost through poor forecasting and lack of on-time delivery.