Changeable weather has made this a tricky summer for retailers – and has kept merchandising teams busy in store.

Supermarkets have been forced to make temporary alterations to featured space promotional activity to account for the vagaries of the weather, and these have contributed to an 8.8% surge in the total number of deals offered on brands (4 w/e 9 August versus the same period a year ago). Retailers and suppliers have had to react quickly to changeable weather that has seen sales of summer favourites including beer and ice cream slump as much as 17% on last year.

“The number of promotions captured during this period can fluctuate as a result of short-term promotions,” says Kay Staniland, MD at retail analysts Assosia. “If a good weekend is forecast, the categories on promotion may be switched temporarily to take into account the potential uplift in sales, but the original scheduled promotions will be switched back as soon as possible afterwards.”

The ongoing price war has also contributed to the increase, and retailers are giving additional space to deals, says Staniland. Of the 10 most promoted brands, eight offered more deals than this time last year. Most notable is Pimm’s, which ran 122 deals versus 21 a year ago. More than half of these were on the regular Pimm’s one-litre format, but many were supporting NPD including its RTD formats and the strawberry & mint flavour variant launch in March.

Pimm’s promotions were focused on the power aisle, where six of the biggest promotors increased their activity compared with last year. Changing use of space has seen four of the 10 most promoted brands – Nestle, Walkers, Coca-Cola and Hardy’s – up their use of store foyers for deals, while Coca-Cola was also among the brands making greater use of the till aisle. “With confectionery removed from the tills in some retailers and reduced in others, till aisle locations are becoming more sought after as, they offer an impulse opportunity,” says Staniland.

4 weeks to 09/08/2015
RankingRank last monthBrandNumber of promotionsIncrease / Decrease on previous monthIncrease / Decrease on previous yearAverage % savingAverage savings % change m-o-mAverage savings % change y-o-y
44Birds Eye2200.92%33.33%34.98%-0.8%-4.1%
810Mr Kipling16017.65%81.82%32.41%-1.1%-0.1%
Total o/l1921-3.90%-5.00%26.7%-0.8%-2.3%
Total brands103321.66%8.78%32.74%-0.1%-1.5%

Published in The Grocer, 20 August 2015

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