Martyn Fisher hears about the household & laundry giant’s plans for wholesale.
Sandeep Hegde (SH), director for convenience, wholesale and club channel, Procter & Gamble (P&G)
BW: How has P&G helped wholesalers grow sales in the past 12 months?
SH: We work with our wholesalers to make sure they have the core P&G range in all depots. We have shown through our ShelfHelp.co.uk website that retailers benefit from having the most up-to-date products in-store, which means wholesalers will, too. We share retailer feedback and case studies with our wholesale partners to make sure the process is as aligned as possible.
One of the main ways that we engage with wholesalers is through regular end-of-aisle activity. This ensures we can keep wholesalers up to speed with all our latest products and any new trends in the industry.
BW: What is the greatest challenge the wholesale industry faces?
SH: It is quite an uncertain time at the moment and there is a lot of change coming around the corner. What is important for wholesalers to keep in mind is that convenience is one of three channels predicted to grow in the next three to five years, so there are lots of opportunities, too. Now is the right time for retailers to maximise their space in-store to profit from increased footfall and wholesalers can help them to do this. How? Have all the bestselling products and up-to-date advice.
BW: What trends and opportunities are emerging that customers can take advantage of?
SH: It is important that wholesalers stay ahead of the curve and ensure they offer a range of household formats. In particular, we are seeing a lot more people purchasing smaller packs and there is an ever-growing demand for wet formats (liquitabs, gels and liquid detergents) in the laundry sector. We have seen laundry sales value increases of more than 60% from retailers who have swapped powders for pods.
We are living busier lifestyles than ever before, which means cleaning products need to be easy to use and effective. P&G has therefore invested in innovation in its existing products to make sure these are the best they can be.
BW: What challenges has P&G had to overcome in the past year?
SH: We have had to continually communicate key changes and category trends to wholesalers and retailers quickly and efficiently. We also needed to align all these changes with ShelfHelp.co.uk to provide the most up-to-date and useful information possible to retailers and wholesalers alike.
Transitioning from powders to liquids has been very exciting, but it has also been a big change for the industry. Nevertheless, there is still a market for powder formats, so we must ensure that we continue to cater for all.
BW: What has been P&G’s greatest achievement in the past year?
SH: We launched our Ariel new and improved 3in1 Pods and Cold Wash Gel, which support cooler washes. We also reformulated Fairy liquid, which cuts through grease better than ever before and was in development for three years.
BW: What advice would you give wholesalers looking to grow sales in household & laundry?
SH: 97% of households buy P&G products, so it is important that wholesalers have a wide range of products in different formats to cater to every lifestyle. Be sure that everything is clearly signposted, so that retailers can quickly and easily find the products they need, and always stock the bestselling products. Seasonal opportunities such as ‘spring cleaning’ are also great ways to ensure that retailers can increase sales.
Check out the inspiring story of leading household & laundry wholesaler Rayburn Trading, here.