Despite being a lifelong Swindon football fan, Mervyn Day has been pleased to see their deadly rivals Reading doing so well this season. As general manager of Booker's new Reading depot, he says big games like Reading's play-off against Wolves last month can help boost his sales.
"There were thousands of fans at the match, and even if each only buys a can of Coke from our customers, just think of the extra sales," he says.
Although his C&C doesn't experience the summer boost to trade Booker depots on the coast enjoy, Day says the Henley Regatta, Ascot races and the Reading Pop Festival can set sales soaring.
Day can track these peaks and troughs with Booker's IT. He can drill down and find out precisely what a customer has bought and when. If sales in any category tail off, the business development manager can contact the customer to see whether anything needs attention.
The introduction of this technology, says Day, is the biggest change he has seen since he began working in the C&C sector in 1976. He worked his way up from the shop floor and Reading, which opened in March, is the eighth depot he has managed. Like all of his 56 staff, Day transferred from the old Booker depot in Reading, and completion of the preparations for the opening of the new 75,000 sq ft depot was one of the high points of his career, he says.
He led a group filling the new depot's shelves while the rest of the team kept the old depot operating.
Nearly all of Day's 3,600 registered customers have transferred their business to the new premises, and new features such as low level wine fixtures and the extended fresh and frozen departments are helping to build sales.