Casey Sherwood of Tactical Solutions
“If you don’t have a promotion underway then you can sell on the brand benefits,” he says. “And if you can’t do that, then you should be in another job with a brand you do believe in.”
He believes in talking straight and telling it like it is: “If I see a gondola end that is being underused then I will let the category manager know how much more they could be making from displaying our product there. You need to give them the figures of course, as data talks. I’ll also offer to move the stock for them if that helps – even if it takes five hours. It’s all about making their job easier and their store more successful overall.”
He currently has Innocent in four positions in the ASDA megastore at Longwell Green near Bristol, UK – front of house (as you walk in) with four large shelves of the same product stacked to create an eye catching display, then in the ‘on the go’ sandwich deli sector with four variants of 250ml and 350ml as single serve.
He has just had a record month, with 960 cases of the 1.5 litre family carafe of Innocent orange juice ordered for just this one superstore – because they are selling so fast.
Innocent has ‘gone mainstream’ he says and is even one of the director’s choices for Christmas – what they are calling ‘A mighty merchant’. So Innocent is being given the same high profile as Pilgrim’s Choice Cheese, Muller yogurts, Clover spread, Dairylea Dunkers and a few other products in the special offers aisle.
That is all aside from the main juice aisle where around 10 variants in the 1 litre carton are on display, including the new black cartons with functional ingredients named and the cartons showing the Big Knit – the most successful promotion for Innocent where little hats at knitted for the bottles in aid of Help the Aged.
Innocent is keen to hit the stores hard and is offering Innocent gloves, bags and jackets as rewards for staff. Staff earn points on sales of stock too which can be used on any product in store. Casey has just had his points for this year cashed in at a value of £350.00. He is noticeably proud of the brand, although surprisingly hadn’t heard of it before working for them.
“Innocent is also testing out some new drinks in Starbucks – they are always doing something new,” he commented.
“We don’t want to be the cheapest,” he said. We sell on good ingredients and quality.
“The store is happy to have an extra pair of eyes looking at where they could do better, of course I am very careful not too offend anyone. This is always about relationship building. It doesn’t matter how good your ideas are if you annoy the person responsible for that section.
“It’s great when your ideas come to fruition though. In the summer I suggested that maybe some smoothie lollies would be a good idea. And I’m not sure if lots of other people had the idea at the same time but it looks as if they are going to do it.”
The Innocent family is growing fast across Europe. with the Big Knit (making little knitted hats for bottles) raising the profile of the brand still further and doing good for the charity ‘help the aged’ too. That’s the brand slogan – ‘tastes good, does good’.
Casey has an interesting background. He reduced stock loss for BHS from £50,000 to £9,000 and rewrote their ‘Best Practice’ handbook while working in the restaurant sector. He’s an entrepreneur who bought his first bouncy castle and set up in business at 18 and then bought a run down pub for £5,000 at age 20 which he sold two years later for £25,000.
Now in his mid twenties he has a little girl – two year old Ruby – and can see a great future for himself with retail and supply chain advisors Tactical Solutions.
“I just love spotting the best place to put things, he says. I learned recently that opposite the butter and spreads is a prime spot – as everyone buys those.”
Being awake to opportunities and building good relationships is still key to success.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019