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As we start the month of October, all of the autumn/winter festivities are fast approaching and stock availability should be at the forefront of every brands mind. With the early Christmas rush starting, reductions in store staffing is impacting execution for both stores and brands.
As of the end of September, stores across the UK have already started displaying their Christmas stock. Last year, food sales alone increased by 3% with this year forecasted to be even bigger. With sales opportunities on the horizon, there is even more reason to ensure stock availability, in order to increase sales. However, non-compliance is the big challenge facing brands at this time of year as stores become hectic. Last year, 33% of non-compliance in quarter 4 was due to products not being displayed in the right space at the right time. In particular, Asda and Tesco saw a 1% decline in compliance during quarter 4 of 2018. With reduced retailer resource, Christmas 2019 is set to be one of the most difficult yet in ensuring compliance and stock availability.
Even though every category benefits from Christmas purchasing trends, according to year on year growth projections, retailers and brands can expect gin and vegan products to be the two biggest growth areas this Christmas. Growth is considerably more notable in the former category and with preferences towards meat alternatives shifting, there is massive demand for vegan food options.
Kantar’s research found, unsurprisingly, that shoppers spend more on branded and luxury items versus own brand products at Christmas time. Brands with products in these areas should seek extra support during the fourth quarter to ensure their products are available in stores.
Our merchandising services are the answer to stock availability and compliance issues. We provide skilled, agile resource with pace to ensure that priority stores are targeted across peak trading times. Book your merchandising teams now to benefit from a 5% discount on our core merchandising service if you book before October 31st. For more information, check out our terms and conditions page.