Retailer News

Hallmarks of a Successful Vendor-Retailer Partnership

Convenience store retailers can drive sales and implement innovative solutions by forming collaborative relationships with their vendor partners.

According to a Coresight survey of food retailers and their suppliers conducted in 2020, retail-vendor collaboration overall has been trending in a positive direction. When asked about efforts over the past two years, 92% of retailers and 85% of suppliers said collaboration has improved, while only 1% of either group said it had worsened, the research found.

“Industry-wide, collaboration efforts are clearly improving, and retailers and suppliers generally concur that they are getting better at working together,” according to Winsight Grocery Business, a sister publication of CSP Daily News.

Strategic partnerships have the potential to elevate entire retail categories, as illustrated by the innovative dispensed beverage program Stinker recently implemented through its collaborative relationship with Sunny Sky Products, featuring Sunny Sky’s Jarritos Freeze.

The enhanced beverage program includes multiple fountain options, including Jarritos Fountain, protein shakes and smoothies and more.

Key to optimizing the sales potential of retail-vendor collaborations is leveraging support from throughout the retail enterprise. Initiatives such as these require a coordinated effort among various departments, so that resources can be allocated to ensure a smooth implementation and rollout.

In the case of the Sunny Sky-Stinker partnership, Stinker, which operates 107 stores in the Northwest United States, enjoyed cooperation from all organizational stakeholders, including marketing and all levels of operations.

Another key to the success of retailer-vendor partnerships is having buy-in from the top levels of the organization, which helps ensure proper planning and coordination among departments. Support from top retail executives ensures that all departments prioritize the initiative and help drive its success.

Data sharing is also important in any retailer-vendor partnership. Suppliers benefit from access to retail customer and sales data, and retailers benefit from insights that their suppliers have gathered on the category.

“The value of strategic vendor partners, such as Sunny Sky, that have a vested and holistic interest in our brand’s success, and are willing to go above and beyond at all stages was instrumental,” said Billy Colemire, category manager - food and beverage, Stinker. “Utilizing the insights, marketing data and rollout support was key to the successful launch of Jarritos.”

In addition to its enhanced beverage offerings, Stinker also elevated its food program with a variety of craveable comfort foods, made in-house daily with high-quality ingredients. Its new offering includes menu items such as fresh chopped salads, hand-rolled burritos and wraps, 100% Angus burgers and hand-breaded and battered chicken tenders. The breakfast menu also got a makeover with fresh-cracked egg breakfast sandwiches and freshly baked donuts.

The collaboration between Stinker and Sunny Sky provides an example of how collaboration between retailers and suppliers can drive the successful rollout of new initiatives. Innovative solutions such as the Jarritos Freeze program from Sunny Sky can help elevate entire categories with the right degree of cooperation across retail departments, the support of top management and the willingness to share data and insights.

This post is sponsored by Sunny Sky


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