The announcement that Tesco is delisting Kingsmill bread sends a warning to all suppliers that they must make their contribution to multiples’ range reviews a more central focus for their business, according to Bridgethorne, the category management specialist.

Although Tesco will continue to stock other products from Kingsmill’s owner, Allied Bakeries, including products from the Kingsmill snack range, the implications of such a prominent brand falling victim to the range review process should not be underestimated. Tesco commented that it regularly reviewed its ranges to ensure they meet the needs of its customers.

“If the Kingsmill decision demonstrates one thing,” explains Bridgethorne’s Joint Managing Director John Nevens, “it is the importance for suppliers to really get to grips with the way the multiples work and to ensure that they have the information, the strategies and the practical plans in place to ensure their business meets the needs of the retailer rather than expecting things to work the other way round.”

This, says Nevens, places an onus on the supplier to gather and share with the retailer detailed insights which can make a contribution to category and range review planning.

“For example, with the Tesco category re-set programme reaching its activation stage, all suppliers need to be in a state of readiness. They need to prepare for all eventualities: scenario planning; conducting in-depth range assessments; and stakeholder engagement,” continues Nevens.  “This requires in-depth analysis of market and retailer data; using industry leading techniques and the translation of this data into insights aligned to the retailer’s growth aspirations.

In practice, Nevens says, more suppliers need to demonstrate their ability to not only influence shoppers today but also contribute to a discussion with retailers on their category’s future and likely areas of growth.

“We believe clients need to attract new shoppers to a category and more importantly encourage them to buy regularly as this encourages a positive supplier-retailer relationship,” continues Nevens. “This means suppliers looking at and developing insight-based recommendations on range, space utilisation in store, merchandising and activation. That’s what we help them to do.”