Tesco’s decision to remove confectionery from the tillpoints of its convenience stores has put the Scottish Government’s plan to ask retailers to do likewise back on the agenda, but is it something that local retailers are willing to do?
Much as I buy into the health lobby – and we do a lot on that front – it just isn’t a tactical solution for us to put fruit there. Removing confectionery would lose us too much turnover to justify it. Those impulse purchases are too important. We don’t keep kids sweets there but £1 bags sell really well. Losing those extra pounds would be harmful to the business. We’ve tried putting fruit there in addition but it doesn’t keep well. At the end of the day, it has to come down to personal choice.
We change our tillpoint around a fair bit. Gum always remains on the fixture, but with the rest of the space we move things around a lot. We could have punnets of strawberries one week, and the next week it could be peaches or confectionery that’s on offer, anything really. We totally rejig the fixture. I think it can become stale if it’s the same thing all the time. I try to think like a consumer – what would tempt me? It’s so easy for the mind to block things out.
I can’t see why we shouldn’t sell it at the tillpoint, but then I can’t see why we can’t all sell fruit there too. We have sweets at the tills and to the sides of them we sell loose bananas, apples and oranges. Selling this fruit alongside confectionery has been a good thing for us. We’ve got a huge confectionery fixture in the store but what about small shops who only have space at the till; where are they meant to put it? We need a sensible approach. At the bottom line it’s up to the customer to decide.
Mitchell’s of Inverurie
We don’t have chocolate on the tillpoints but we do stock gum and mints there. We’ve got two impulse bays in front of the tills and recently we changed things around and now sell pre-packed fruit and veg on there with the gum and mints below. The only other confectionery we’ll have at the till area is dumpbins with NPD. This set up has worked well for us, however I know the Government would want even gum and mints removed. It might not happen soon, but it will be pushed in hospital shops.