Sharon’s convenience store report
December 1, 2009
Sharon Kane, area manager at Henderson Retail in Northern Ireland, reveals how the convenience stores she manages compete with the multiples at Christmas.
In the run up to Christmas we are all experiencing fierce competition from the multiples as they fight to gain customer loyalty through the promotion of loyalty points and reward cards in-store. Although our BP forecourt sites offer Nectar points on fuel and groceries, the rest of our stores do not, therefore we have to use other means to gain customer loyalty in our stores.
One way of gaining loyalty is the current Paddington Bear promotion we are running up until Christmas. Customers are given a card to collect stamps when they shop and then redeem the card to purchase one of four types of Paddington Bear at a reduced price. This promotion has been a fantastic success since once customers have one bear from the collection they seem to want the full set and keep coming back to collect the stamps. The bears will make fantastic Christmas gifts, so it is the perfect time to run such a promotion.
We are also focusing on customer service to gain loyalty and offer fast and friendly service every time shoppers visit our stores. By focusing on sales-based ordering we are also ensuring we are minimising gaps and have 100% availability at all times. This also keeps customers coming back to us.
Engaging with our customers, building relationships and knowing what they want means we retain shoppers too. Most people like the personal touch and to be greeted by name in your local store is hugely welcoming - when I visit the larger supermarkets I just feel like a number.
We may not have the benefits of loyalty cards, points and rewards but we find our means of gaining loyalty work well for us.
Sharon Kane: building customer loyalty
December 2009 Issue