In the summer of 2014, a number of UK Grocery retailers appproached the ECR Group and asked whether it would consider looking at the €3billion plus UK Newspaper and Magazine category. Seen through their eyes, it was both a high shrink and a highly complex category to manage, in very urgent need of improvement.
As a first step, the ECR Group commissioned new research to quantify the scale and nature of the retail losses associated with this category. This report, for the first time, quantified the full cost of retail losses and highlighted the need for change.
In seeking improvements, the Group chose first to focus on near term interventions that they believed would be low cost, and thus easy to implement.
To date, there has been progress on many of these initiatives. For instance, Wholesalers now produce a monthly operations scorecard that assists with benchmarking. Publishers have supported the request for the on/off sale dates to be included in the bar code, and thinking on future collectible launches will now consider shrink. There is now momentum behind the better coordination of the regional newspapers and the Group continues to share best practices.
The next Group meeting will be in December 2017.
An article on the ECR News and Magazines research and project was published in Loss Prevention Magazine.