Cash and Carry Store: Procurement, Product Display & Software Selection
Cash and Carry Store: Off to a Good Start
The cash and carry store business is competitive and requires proper planning for it to be successful. In our previous videos, we discussed some important pre-requisites that you need to take care of if you want to start cash and carry store.
We discussed the importance of cash and carry store location, what factors you need to consider while selecting the location. We also discussed the key elements of the cash and carry store layout design, and the scope of cash and carry in Pakistan
After finalizing the layout design, we will move on to the next phase that involves the procurement of products and their display.
Procurement Process: Creating a Product Mix
To begin with, based on the store location and local demand, we decide the kind of products that will be available in the store.
Next is creating a product mix.
Generally, for cash and carry stores, we divide the products into two segments: food and non-food items.
For food items, many large distribution companies are in the business of supplying them. You place orders with them and they will deliver the goods.
Along with the local products, the international variants, or imported products, are also available. You can order through distributors or take your list to the wholesale market and purchase the products from the market.
We generally recommend our clients to purchase food items in the second phase. One reason is the expiry management of food items; then there are items, like chocolates, that require a particular temperature. Moreover, the chances of theft are also there because the labor is still in the store while work is in progress.
Thus, it is better to purchase food items once everything else has been sorted out.
For non-food items, the first thing to do is to categorize them. We make categories like crockery, kitchen wear, toys, and gift items, etc.
Next, design and mark placements of these items on the store racks. After marking, comes the budget. Once you know how many racks you have marked for a particular category, and how many shelves each rack has, you can calculate how much stock you need to buy, and plan accordingly.
The Procurement Process
After you have decided on the budget, you can start the buying process. As mentioned earlier, there are many wholesale markets where you can go and buy according to your planned budget.
While buying the products, make sure you buy a complete range of each category. For example, if you are buying crockery you need to ensure that all crockery items like tea sets, water sets, dinner sets, etc. are available at your store.
Also, all crockery-related loose parts like glasses, mugs, plates, etc. should also be available.
Similarly, you need to complete each product category.
Cash and Carry Store: Software Selection
It is at this stage, while the products are being purchased, begins the entries of products in your retail software. The software is bought at this stage. For software selection, we have a checklist that we recommend to our clients.
Our software selection checklist includes the following:
Reliability: The first point on our checklist is the reliability of the software. Reliability means how satisfied are the customers who are already using the software. Are the people using it facing any issues? Is the support available to resolve any future problems that can arise while using the software?
Experience: Next, always check the experience of the company behind the software. For how long they have been in the business, how many diversified businesses they are catering to, are they working only for cash and carry or also other verticals like medical stores, restaurants, etc. The more diversified businesses a company is catering to, the more rugged will be the software.
Expertise: Another important point is to check the user base of the software, the businesses where it is installed. If the user base is wide, it means enough research has gone into the software to make it a robust product. More experience means, the software has been tested by many users, has withstood the test of time, and the company behind it has a certain level of expertise as far as the retail industry is concerned.
As far as I am concerned, I prefer Candela retail software and also recommend it to my clients. So far, I have not experienced any software in the local market that is better than or as good as Candela.
After software selection, you need to start entering products into the software. At this stage, we also hire two to three persons to operate the software and get them trained by the software company.
At this stage, as you enter the products in your software, also start working on your displays. Displays have their own criteria. In visual merchandising terms, we refer to it as how vocal is your store. Your store starts talking to the customers the moment they enter the store.
The displays ensure that it is easy for customers to shop in the store, to understand where they can find the required items, etc. Also, the placement of all related products, like shampoo with conditioners, is also very important. The visibility of racks labels, price tags of items, marked navigation of the store, etc. are some of the other factors to keep in mind.
So basically, this is the stage where products procurement, software selection, product entries in software, and product displays are carried out.