Helena Drakakis finds out how Heineken has helped one Bestway depot boost its beer and cider offering since relaying the fixture in December last year.

Over the past six years, Heineken has lead the way in driving sales in beers and ciders through its Star Retailer scheme. The programme was developed through talking to retailers, gaining their insight, and providing leading category advice. Retailers taking part have reported a 12% uplift in sales.

Through research, Heineken discovered that availability of product, poor layout of wholesale depots and aisles and a lack of information about top-selling products were all challenges retailers faced when shopping in wholesale.

So, last year, Heineken brought the principles of the Star Retailer scheme into depot for the first time. Teaming with Bestway, they set themselves a goal of relaying 60 depots, with 38 completed by the end of 2015. Heineken smashed that target by completing all 60 by December. Steven Gifford, category development manager at Heineken said: “This is the first time Heineken, or any beer and cider manufacturer for that matter, has offered category advice in the wholesale channel and it’s been a clear success.”


50% of the total cider and beer category value comes from the top 10 brands so these must be well-stocked and given the most prominent positions in depot. Increasing sales is also about taking away slow sellers and removing duplication.

What Heineken did: Heineken worked closely with Bestway to rationalise ranges to ensure each depot is providing the biggest sales drivers alongside regional favourites, with wholesale staff educated in how to advise customers.


Once the range was agreed on, the next step was to create a layout by category and sub category. This makes it easier for retailers to find what they are looking for. A flow in the aisle from classic to premium brands in each category increases retailers’ knowledge on how to encourage their shoppers to trade up. Heineken also recommends adding shelf strips to show what category the products belong to.

What Heineken did: “We’ve brought brands together in a logical flow making it easier for retailers to shop for best sellers by giving them fair share of space in easy to find locations,” Steven Gifford explains. “By sticking to the depot-specific planograms we created, availability can be maintained, ensuring retailers can get the products they want easily,” he added.

3Space and PoS

With a strong range in place, and a logical layout, the offering must be unmissable. Good availability and space given to best sellers, prevents customers from going elsewhere. PoS and end of aisle displays are also great ways to inspire retailers to pick up additional items.

What Heineken did: Branded PoS was installed throughout all 60 relayed Bestway depots to bring the aisles to life, attract customer attention and make the category clear and easy for retailers to shop.


Him! conducted research to measure Heineken’s success. Here is the outcome:

  • Heineken’s new layout and signage of the beer & cider category meant that 98% of retailers said it was easy to find the products they were looking for. There was an 8% increase in those who found it very easy.
  • An increased number of retailers (74%) agreed that new products are easy to find. By giving NPI space in the aisle, these products have a greater chance of trial and success, meaning more sales for depots.
  • 84% of retailers agreed that the best-selling beer and cider products are now easily identified. By placing the biggest brands first in the aisle and signposting them with branded PoS, retailers are more aware of the top sellers they should have in their store.
  • The new beer and cider layout flowing from
    Classic to Premium brands increased the number of retailers (+17%) who felt that they now understood which products would encourage shoppers to trade up in-store.
  • Overall there has been a year-on-year uplift in Beer & Cider shoppers across Bestway since the depot relay, demonstrating the importance for wholesalers to make depots easy to shop for retailers.


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