Are You Match Fit To Win With Retailers?

To obtain your FREE copy of our new White Paper, “Are You Match Fit To Win With Retailers?” please email


The recent announcement of a proposed merger between Sainsbury’s and ASDA is just the latest development in an unpredictable retail landscape, one heavily influenced by a volatile economic climate. It has never been tougher for FMCG suppliers to create sustainable, collaborative and mutually beneficial relationships with key retail customers – tough, but not impossible.

Sir Alex Ferguson famously said, “the work of a team should always embrace a great player but the great player must always work.” If your players are not working as a team, you’re unlikely to win.

Every football team has its own way of playing, its own DNA. Likewise, businesses can also have their own distinctive ways of working and winning; their own footprint to success.  The smart thing is, like every sports team, this footprint is fully trainable. You can train how you want your team to perform in ways that align with your company culture, prevailing market conditions and to exceed the targets set. The worrying factor is that many businesses are not taking active control over how they want their teams to perform, leaving them in a state of dysfunction, appearing chaotic to the retailer buying community and, potentially, in peril of relegation.

Against this background, suppliers urgently need to change their mind-sets to ensure their teams think like retailers and build-in, embed and leverage the skills necessary to forge winning relationships with retail customers….or risk facing defeat. This includes helping to address the multitude of challenges faced by their retail customers:

  • The growth of discounters, the convenience store format and online, all of which in their own way are changing the rules of shopper engagement.
  • Cost pressures from currency devaluation and increased labour costs impacting profitability.
  • Slimmer commercial teams needing to manage in a more complex environment.
  • A move towards a lower promotional focus and range reduction reducing traditional options for growth and commercial revenue income.
  • The need for price competitiveness, differentiation and exclusives, and specific solutions for different store formats driving complexity and investment.

Such challenges, though, can only be met if suppliers develop teams that are organised, skilled and ‘match fit’ to win through and achieve world-class supplier relationships. Too many, though, are failing to adapt to this new normality and lack both a clear vision of what a successful retailer relationship should be let alone have the skills and expertise in place to take them there.

If there was a World Cup for the retail grocery sector, ask yourself honestly if your business would be competing for the trophy or failing to make it out of the group stages? Would you be a winner or an also-ran?

To obtain your FREE copy of our new White Paper, “Are You Match Fit To Win With Retailers?” please email