Christine Sandys has a busy working week making sure that customers in MBL stores get the wine they want.
As trading manager for wine, Sandys is responsible for buying a range that covers all her customers’ needs, as well as organising shopfloor layout and running promotions every two weeks to tempt shoppers to buy more.
Sandys says that she normally spends about 10 hours a week meeting suppliers at Musgrave headquarters, although business plans are currently being put in place and, consequently, much more time is involved.
“In a meeting I’ll discuss terms and plan our promotional activities with a supplier,” explains Sandys.
“They will initially come to me with a proposal for an activity and then between us we’ll go through and agree terms and level of support.”
Sandys and the supplier also use these meetings to discuss new product development and any other issues, such as service levels and packaging quality problems.
Other opportunities arise throughout the year to meet suppliers, especially at trade shows: this week the Australians put their new
vintages on display and it will be the Californians’ turn next.
Tasting takes place at Musgrave headquarters, too, as Sandys likes to spend time trying out new samples, as well as testing her current range to make sure it is right.
She will then go out on store visits to check the merchandising and talk to store managers.
“The only way to really find out what’s going on is to get out there and talk to the people who are selling the wine,” says Sandys.
But it’s not just her own stores she’ll cast her professional eye over. She says that it is really important to take a good look around competitors’ stores to see what’s going on in terms of range and promotions.
getting out and talking to people who sell the wine