Food supply director Joe Dybell declined to give details but confirmed that customers wanted greater consistency. He added: “Customers tell us we move product around too much on the shelves. We are trying to get to the right level of range changes.”
One sales and distribution source said: “Tesco has looked at how it conducts range reviews and interim range reviews and decided that there’s not enough continuity. Compliance is also poor when changes are made. Sometimes it is as bad as 50%.”
The move received a mixed response from suppliers, with some believing that fewer reviews or less tweaking between reviews would allow new products more time to prove themselves, but others arguing that it would mean fewer windows of opportunity for new suppliers or products.
The move was one of several initiatives to tackle out of stocks this year, said Dybell. These will include closer monitoring of slower sellers, a shelf-ready toolkit developed in association with ECR UK, improved store ordering systems for fresh and collaborative promotional planning work. The toolkit described what good and poor execution of shelf-ready packaging looked like in stores, said Dybell. “It works on the basic premise of: simple to identify, simple to open, simple to replenish.”
There would also be a new emphasis on monitoring availability on slow sellers, he said: “If a customer wants to make a curry, we need to have coriander in stock.”
>>p38 Industry availability headaches persist