P&G recently appointed Nick Beresford to the role of Sales Director, Convenience. So with a renewed commitment to the sector we spoke to him about his plans for the year, and how he came to be appointed to the role.
You’ve just started a new role – how did it come about?
I studied engineering, believe it or not, then from summer internships I decided that I wanted to work more on the business-building front end rather than the cost-cutting back end. This led to a job at P&G which has taken me to Canada and back.
Does your engineering background make you hands on?
Definitely! I like to spend time in store and visiting customers, and I also spend time working with our brand teams to develop the plans we need to win in our channel.
Can you tell us about these plans?
Well, aside from our own knowledge through interacting with the sector every day, the latest data from IGD shows us that convenience stores are growing faster than overall grocery, at 4.6%, and they are significantly expanding their range of services, with more and more offering added benefits such as home delivery, cash machines and the like to their shoppers. As a key supplier to this channel, it is crucial that we also review our ranges and services and ensure that we are serving convenience retailers to the best of our ability.
So how do you communicate this to retailers?
We were quick to see the digital communications opportunity so our ShelfHelp category management programme has been running for a few years. That allows us to offer hints and advice to help maximise the potential of the baby care, homecare, laundry, health & beauty and batteries categories. As it is data-based, it’s constantly evolving and as a result, in 2013 there are going to be further improvements to the accessibility of ShelfHelp. Watch this space for more details!
What’s your thoughts on the market?
It’s tough. There’s no point denying that. There’s the economic climate and the range of legislative issues. That said, there are clear indications that those operators who get it right can generate growth, and that can only get better as more retailers start to understand the importance of getting their offering to shoppers correct.
How do c-stores differ from mults?
Independent retailers are the lifeblood of any community and preserving their position is crucial not only to the people in their local area, but also to us! Retailers are vital in linking brands such as ours with the consumer, so we are committed to helping them thrive.
How is 2013 it’s going to progress for you?
We’ll continue to build on our core strengths of innovation, brand building and consumer understanding. There is going to be NPD and marketing initiatives. The ‘Thank You Mum’ campaign worked so well for us last summer during the Olympics. We’ll build on that momentum to try to keeping resonating with consumers.
It’s great to see you focus on convenience too.
Our approach in 2013 is to support our customer base and ensure they continue to feel well served by P&G – both in terms of products and innovation, as well as providing relevant outreach and advice. As part of this, we are working closely with the ACS, to support its inaugural 2013 Global Summit on 15th April.
That sounds interesting – tell us more.
The day is going to bring together retailing talent from around the globe and I’m looking forward to a day of stimulating debate, informed discussions and actionable planning. With so many markets at evolving stages in their development, there are any number of key learnings that can be effectively shared.
Nick Beresford is Sales Director, Convenience at P&G, a company he has worked for in various roles for most of his career. When he’s not helping boost c-store sales he can found cheering on Spurs or cooking for his family, but not at the same time.