Thresher cuts 5,000 lines

05 September, 2008

Massive cull reduces range to 1,000 as specialist focuses on profit-driving brands

The Thresher Group is slashing the

number of lines

in its range

from 6,000 to just 1,000 best-sellers.

The drastic cull is the result of an audit


consultants drafted in to increase profits by cutting the amount of floor space given to poor-performing brands.

Arc Retail was also asked to advise on

managing promotions more effectively and developing new ideas beyond three-for-two as the chain strives to become less reliant on the mechanic.

The cutbacks will be felt across the product spectrum in

its three fascias - Threshers, Wine Rack and The Local.

Yvonne Rankin, chief executive , said: "The Thresher Group business is an amalgamation of businesses assembled over time and under various ownerships and brands with strands from the brewing industry. The company historically was geared towards pushing out products, rather like a wholesaler, as opposed to acting more like a retailer and listening to what the customer really needs.

"We needed to be a retailer primarily based on retail best practices and realised that robust process and also technology is part of making more profit."

According to Arc Retail ,

10 times too many products were being sold in some stores, "instead of maybe the 10% that really drive profit". Rankin added: "Store staff had a little more autonomy

in what to stock - but this and other issues have led to range proliferation over time.

"Getting smarter in terms of how we use store space and cutting down on poor sellers is worth millions in savings."

Ranging decisions across the 1,700-strong estate will

be managed centrally along with promotions and pricing.

Review sees premium move for Wine Rack

Thresher has launched 12 premium wines in 130 Wine Racks and expects to extend this to 70 more by December.

The range includes Château Deyrem Valentin 2004 Margaux at £25.99, Dom de Roally Tradition 2005 Viré-Clessé at £17.99 and Fabiano 2002 Amarone Classico.

Discounts are available on three-bottle purchases, a tactic

criticised by Jancis Robinson MW. "The prices are high if you buy just one bottle but much more reasonable if you buy three," she said. "Although this strategy has been successful, I don't think it works as well for wines such as these, where so few customers are likely to want - or be able to afford - more than one bottle."

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