If you support local outdoor events, they have the potential to give your sales some real summer loving, says Confex’s Tom Gittins
Here comes the sun: as immortalised by The Beatles, most of us look forward to the better weather brought on with the beginning of summer. At Confex, our biggest trading category is soft drinks and so our wholesale members need to be prepared and ready for that first weekend when the weather turns and the shorts and sunglasses are put to good use.
Confex has more than 200 regional wholesaler members, for which soft drinks are vital elements of their businesses. At our head office, we gear up for summertime (DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince) by ensuring supplier brand plans are put in place as early as December the year before. Just as Easter, Halloween and Christmas have seasonal plans working nine months ahead, we like to start preparing for summer during the winter winds (Mumford & Sons).
This summer will see more outdoor events than ever before. There are now festivals all over the country covering everything from music to food, literature to home living, religion to wellbeing, and film to art.
Amazingly, within a 20-mile radius of the Confex head office, there will be more than 200 outdoor events running from May through to September, yet our nearest soft drink wholesaler is 40 minutes away!
Thus, even without the perennial opportunities of BBQs, the Euros and the Olympics, the regional wholesaler can make it a bumper summer holiday (Cliff Richard) this year.
So as school’s out (Alice Cooper), we will see a rush of events to keep the children entertained. With them comes the opportunity for the local wholesaler to cash in. As the summer nights (Grease) draw in, we hope that wholesalers all over the UK (and especially Confex members) will have reaped the rewards from their endeavours during the long hot summer (Style Council) and that it won’t have been a cruel summer (Bananarama) for the wholesale sector…
Plan ahead by forecasting your stocks with your suppliers to ensure you are not left short mid-summer when the bottlers can’t keep up with demand. Be bold and you will reap the rewards when things start to hot up!
2Look for what’s new
Ensure you know what new products suppliers have lined up for this summer. All the major suppliers will bring out new variants for their busiest time of the year, so stocking them will increase sales as they are marketed more vigorously to consumers.
3Look to the skies
Get to know the weather. Keeping abreast of the five-day forecast will help you plan your stock levels – a sunny weekend has the power to double sales while a rainy one can do the opposite.
Take some time to investigate what events are taking place nationally and locally. A music festival or fun-run can be a great opportunity to become the wholesaler of choice and drive growth.
Don’t leave everything until the last minute. There is no point in turning round on a Friday in June to ask a supplier for a truck of water, as it either won’t be able to supply it or you will end up paying more to a third party.
Keep it simple
There is no point trying to list too many new products during peak season. If you are prepared and have all your products listed and stocked ready for the summer rush, you will find that your service levels are maintained and your business will grow.