I’ve been feeling inspired by The Grocer’s list of the 10 most influential women in wholesale. It’s a testament to female leadership, but also to the independent sector, which is constantly innovating, empowering and leading.

At MTJ, we’re always thinking about how our clients can demonstrate leadership to their retail customers. From our monitoring of the convenience sector, trade media and the needs of store owners, we have identified three areas where brands can lead in the coming months.

1. Legislation

New and upcoming legislation is adding pressure and complexity to many areas of a convenience store. Retailers are still uncertain about how to turn legislation changes such as HFSS, Natasha’s Law and the Deposit Return Scheme into opportunities. The latter is particularly challenging for stores in Scotland because huge sections of the law are still unclear. I spoke to a retailer recently who said with genuine fear there were "so many unknowns" left in the plans. To stand above your competitors, you need to make sure your voice is heard on the subjects that retailers care most about.

2. Investment

Every convenience retailer is struggling to keep prices low and help their customers make ends meet. Nisa won headlines earlier this month with a £6m investment to cut prices on thousands of branded products because it is tackling this very issue. Brands that invest in helping independent retailers face their biggest challenges will win hearts and minds.

3. Expertise

When an idea is right for brands, right for stores, right for shoppers and right for society – it very rarely fails. An initiative in south London to get healthier products into independent shops at sensible prices has been a triumph. The Good Food Retail and Wholesale project identified 100 healthier products, which offer retailer margins of up to 70%. Backed by promotions at nearby wholesalers, the result with this combination of category advice and leadership was a 22% sales uplift. What expertise can you share that helps stores do the right thing while growing their business? How can you implement these ideas in a way that guarantees success?

Get in touch to find out how we can help you demonstrate leadership to retailers

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