Working Together with Heineken

In direct response to the three biggest challenges retailers said they were experiencing when shopping in wholesale, Heineken has delivered an innovative new solution to tackle the problem head on.

Retailers explained to the leading Beer and Cider company that the three biggest issues when shopping in wholesale are: availability of product; layout of the depot and aisles; and a lack of information about top-selling products.

Easier to shop

Heineken has implemented its wholesale category advice and designed the Beer and Cider aisles from scratch at Dee Bee‘s new depot in Hull; advising the wholesaler on what to stock, how to organise the category, and also on how space should be allocated, with PoS installed to attract attention and make the category easier to shop for retailers.

By ensuring the right range is offered, in a logical flow through the segments within the category, with prominent fins acting as guidance, and the big brands and best-sellers given enough space to remain available, retailers are able to quickly and easily find the products they are looking for. And making it as easy as possible for retailers to shop in-depot in ways such as this means wholesalers can prevent their customers from going elsewhere.

Steven Gifford, category development manager at Heineken, says: “For the first time, Heineken has had the opportunity to design and create the Beer and Cider aisles of a brand new depot from scratch. We worked with Dee Bee’s team to implement our category knowledge in the wholesale channel, and focused on the areas retailers identified as issues from our Him! research earlier this year.

“We wanted to improve the shopping experience for retailers when in-depot, focusing on availability, layout and top seller information. We’ve helped Dee Bee’s team to organise the category with clear signage, setting an easy-to-shop layout by bringing brands together in a logical flow and helping retailers to shop for best-sellers by giving them a fair share of space in easy-to-find locations within the aisle. We’ve created Beer and Cider aisles that will allow the depot team to easily maintain availability for all products within the category, so retailers will get both the shopping experience and the products they want every time.”

Wholesale Evolution

The Dee Bee project is an evolution of Heineken re-merchandising the Beer and Cider aisles in every Bestway/Batley depot, and this current phase is also being implemented in other wholesale depots, as well as at Dee Bee.

Using the space given to it by Dee Bee, Heineken has improved the logistics of the section, ensuring that it matches the most probable customer journey in depot. Fins with distinctive brand imagery – including both Heineken and non-Heineken brands – are used to highlight each section: from Classic to World Lagers, and Classic to World and Niche Cider.

One of the key components is that the the aisle-end fins are placed in elevated positions so that they are in customers’ line of sight, but won’t catch on trolleys – a minor change that will improve efficiency when shopping.

Brian Miller, operations director at Dee Bee, says the move has “revolutionised the place”. He adds: “Heineken has created a massive time-saving opportunity for our customers. We hope other companies in different categories will learn and follow suit.”

The opportunity came about after Dee Bee approached several of the UK’s leading alcohol companies for advice on what to stock and how to stock it.

After seeing and implementing Heineken’s stand-out proposal, Miller says Dee Bee couldn’t be more pleased with the results.


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