Irish Partner, FMI, highlight the value of retail auditing promotional ends.


We all love discovering a good deal or promotion in-store.   However, from a brand, buyer and retail perspective implementing a promotion instore is a time-consuming process that starts at least 6 months in advance, requiring agreements to be reached with regard to discounts, bulk discounts, stock planning and POS design. It is also an expensive undertaking for brands, as they have to provide an offer that is appealing to the customer, which inevitably comes at a cost to their profit margin, as well as necessitating the additional expense of securing space on the promotional ends in stores. 

Given the time and investment that is incurred, it is a worthwhile exercise to ensure that this activity is reviewed once implemented at store level. 

For the last 9 years, EFMP Irish Partners, FMI have been conducting in-store retail audits for the Musgraves Group. Musgraves is Irelands leading food retail, wholesale, and food company, with more than 1400 stores and offices with combined retail sales of €5.4 billion. FMI have 25 auditors who audit the promotional ends and ladders of 52 stores selected at random every three weeks. The audits can be customized to track whatever key metric the brand or retailer deem essential. For example, Musgraves requires that the FMI team also track the must-have stock and own-brands instore, giving them eyes on the ground that they are unable to replicate in another format.

The objective of retail audits is to drive compliance within the stores, and consistency across a range of stores nationwide. Having the stores independently audited helps Musgraves to sell the promo ends to suppliers and shows suppliers that Musgraves value the importance of compliance for their suppliers.

Amongst other benefits over the years, Musgraves use these reports to select store of the year based on their performance and level of compliance.

To track this activity, the FMI team use a platform, called Presto, on handheld tablets, that allows them to rank promo ends and upload photos instore. Making the processes simple, accurate and timely.

Promotional Ends are good for Brands and Business

A promotional end in store, implemented correctly, and in situ for 3 weeks can deliver over 800% growth.  It delivers an increase in Average Transaction Value (AVT), encourages the likelihood of brand switching, drives brand awareness, and ultimately leads to happier customers. 

For brands, the audits reveal whether the promotions have been fully implemented and whether the correct signage has been used. The audit also gives brands visibility by ascertaining whether any competitors have been placed on the ends so that this can be remedied if necessary. Stores that know they may be audited are typically more compliant and have better implementation which results in a higher sell through rate. The feedback received from store managers, derived from the audit, can provide insights on matters like delivery issues or fast sell out in-store that brands may not otherwise be aware of.

For Musgraves the value of using external auditors, like FMI, means that they receive impartial and collated feedback that allows them to rank and monitor their stores. Typically, 10% of retail sales come from promo stock so making sure that this revenue stream is optimized makes good commercial sense. In addition, having the audit reports provides them with invaluable insights prior to brand meetings.

There is tremendous value to undertake independent retail auditing for both brands and retail stores. For more information on conducting retail audits in Ireland, get in touch with our auditing team today.

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