With continuing pressure on margins, enterprising retailers are always looking for potential new revenue streams. And here is one which is proving both popular and successful.
It’s the food prep market – worth a healthy £190m+ at RSP – which has gone from strength to strength as cooking from scratch remains high on the agenda for foodies. Driven by the huge wave of TV cookery programmes the category has enjoyed significant growth in the last few years with food processors, juicers and kitchen machines now being at the top of peoples’ shopping lists.
Market research giant Mintel claim that 93% of households cook from scratch, and 44% of adults agree that cooking is a favourite pastime.
Many larger garden centres already sell other small domestic electric appliances (SDAs) such as kettles, irons etc very successfully. But these are generally seen as ‘distress’ purchases, bought when the original appliances goes wrong! However, selling food prep products can take you into a whole new arena. And one that will increase footfall and sales while providing ‘theatre’ for your store.
Big Red Sales – a nationwide sales agency which handles the famous Morphy Richards brand – has been dipping its toes into the garden centre market recently. And they have encouraged a small but increasing number of forward thinking garden centre owners to stage in-store cookery demonstrations tapping into that revenue stream. And enjoying increased sales as a result.
When staging these in-store demos Big Red Sales concentrate mainly on food preparation and cooking – and that includes blenders, mixers, spiralisers, slow cookers, soup makers, multicookers and bread makers.
A demonstration of such products helps create ‘theatre’ in store. And that is great for catching peoples’ attention. And the delicious aromas wafting from the soup makers have also been found to draw shoppers to the demo!!! And buy a product as a result.
Such demos in the garden centre environment are particularly appealing to browsers and also visitors who buy fresh produce, which is now available in a lot of centres. They seem to be happy to spend time watching food preparation or are already in that food shopping/preparation mind set.
As you have probably seen for yourself when looking in electrical shops colour is the big thing in SDAs. And manufacturers such as Morphy Richards offer a whole palette of lovely colours to brighten up any kitchen. And that is another attraction for consumers.
Bourne Valley are one of the enlightened garden centres to host food prep demos. And says their Giftware Supervisor Tarnia Carver: “The Morphy Richards demonstration was a great success. It increased our footfall, and salesman Tim had a great rapport with the crowd around his workstation which helped increase our sales…. we have re-booked”.
So what is the bottom line you may ask? What costs are involved?
Well, actually none! The Big Red sales team in your area will organise and man the demo and for larger garden centres, such as a demo they organized recently at Longacres, they will liaise with the manufacturer and organise the demonstration at no charge to the retailer.
As well as taking your order a Big Red Sales agent will merchandise the product in-store for you. And no need to worry about what to re-order, as they will make regular visits to check stock and recommend the latest products to refresh your range.
So you don’t have to do anything but pick up the phone now…..
Josie Matthews, Big Red Sales