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Costcutter migrates Northern Ireland retailers to new buy and supply system ahead of schedule
27 January 2014

Costcutter Supermarkets Group today announced that it is migrating all Northern Ireland retailers to its new buy and supply arrangements in March 2014. The region is the first to migrate and the move comes ahead of original plans for all retailers to do so in July 2014. Northern Ireland is a self-contained region, and represents one of Costcutter Supermarkets Group's largest trading areas.

With Palmer & Harvey's new temperature-controlled Belfast depot, and all systems now being fully tested and ready, it is the ideal region to execute phase one of the rollout programme and start bringing the promised benefits to retailers in the region. The new buy and supply arrangements mean that Northern Ireland retailers will start experiencing the significant improvements promised in the key areas of range, price, promotions and delivery. These will then be applied to the whole estate in July.

Since March 2013, Costcutter Supermarkets Group has worked to create a consumer-centric range, which reflects the products customers want and expect to see when shopping locally. Produced through analysis of the existing range across all categories, including regional, local and seasonal, the new range will be continuously reviewed to reflect members' needs. The new Independent brand, which brings better own-brand margins for retailers, also went live in November and key lines will be available to Northern Ireland retailers at the time they migrate. Offering retailers a unique selling point, the Independent lines will help drive repeat purchasing opportunities.

The new pricing structure being made available is much simpler and more transparent. Costcutter Supermarkets Group has looked at a range of aspects which will bring significant added value and benefits to its members' businesses. From removing surcharges, service charges and membership fees, to increasing rebates, the new structure is clear in its changes and delivers on commitments. Additionally, our new joint-venture with Palmer and Harvey - The BuyCo and its negotiating power has already had a positive effect on product prices, and will continue to deliver improvements to support Costcutter Supermarkets Group in reducing prices for its retailers.

The new promotional programme will also add value for retailers. As with the new range, it has been designed with consumer needs at its core. Around the programme, retailers in Northern Ireland will be able to offer the promotions their customers want, when they want them; helping to increase loyalty and repeat visits, and helping to improve margins.

One of the key components of Costcutter Supermarkets Group's announcement in March 2013 was the signing of a new eight year wholesale distribution contract with Palmer & Harvey. With the new Belfast depot now operational, Northern Ireland retailers will be fully serviced by Palmer & Harvey and its established delivery network. They have invested over £1m in the new depot, to manage the increased volume and to ensure that they provide a reliable, flexible and local delivery service on time and in full.

Darcy Willson-Rymer, CEO of Costcutter Supermarkets Group, said: "2013 was a big year for Costcutter Supermarkets Group and in March we didn't just simply announce a new strategic partnership and joint venture, we also made a number of promises to our retailers. The news that we are migrating Northern Ireland ahead of schedule, confirms that we are very much on track to deliver these promises, and the response from affected retailers has been incredibly positive. They are excited about the benefits the changes will bring across the areas that are most important to them and their business. These have always been range, price, promotion and distribution, and these are the areas that we have invested time and resource in to ensure that we were in a position to make the improvements we shared with them this week.

"This is only the beginning for us though and, by continuing to cultivate the benefits of collaborative working between Costcutter, members, suppliers and Palmer & Harvey, we will continue to bring news of further improvements to the table. This remains our focus, as does supporting retailers through the migration and ensuring they receive the individual help they want to improve their business." 

For further information please contact:

Simon Brown

PR & Communications Manager, Costcutter Supermarkets Group

T: 01904 486211 / 07917 373937

E: simon.brown@costcutter.com

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