Suppliers will be able to get an accurate picture of product availability in the convenience sector for the first time following a tie-up between Harris International Marketing and Field Services Solutions.
From the end of this month, Field Services staff will start feeding back on-shelf availability data on participating brands from about 600 stores - a number expected to rise to 2,000 stores within a few months, said HIM managing director Tom Fender.
"We’re not relying on computer systems, or orders and deliveries, but real human beings actually going into stores to see if the product is on the shelf."
Participating stores, likely to include symbol groups and
c-store multiples, from T&S Stores to Jacksons, will be visited once a month at a random time.
Data from the Convenience Tracking Programme suggested that c-store retailers were losing as much as £650m every year through non-availability of key products, said Fender.

For more, see your copy of The Grocer magazine (issue September 6).