AG Retailers Increase Sales with Shrink-reduction Initiative

Associated Grocers, Inc. of Baton Rouge, La., (AGBR), a retailer-owned wholesale distribution company, joined with The Retail Control Group of Scottsdale, Ariz., to launch a 2012 initiative that trains retailers to proactively reduce store shrink and grow store sales.

The two organizations are partnering to provide the retail members of AGBR with The Retail Control Group’s best-in-class Total Store Manager and Customer Service Excellence programs.

“These initiatives are part of our on-going work to strengthen our retailers operations and bottom line,” said Emile Breaux, SVP for AGBR. “We have retailers who reduced perishable and overall store shrink by as much as 15%, dramatically improved cash flow and through this training energized entire store teams to grow profitable sales.”

The Retail Control Group Team introduced Retail Counselor-led Customer Service Excellence for Sales Improvement initiatives at targeted AGBR member stores. The benefits have been immediate, dramatic and long-lasting, according to AGBR.

“I can safely say that the results exceeded everyone’s expectations, with stores growing sales as much as 5 percent,” said Breaux. “In this market, that’s a big deal. Retail counselors and department merchandising staff worked with retail store teams and challenged them to beat budgeted sales and profit expectations and engage every customer with a toolkit of new best practices.”

The Retail Control Group is the creator of The Profit Program. Total Store Manager, Professional Store Supervisor and Customer Service Excellence for Sales Improvement programs are three of its six best practices training components. Total Store Manager is designed to produce an intense focus on shrink control and loss prevention, and to provide actionable operational practices which help attendees further maximize profit without sacrificing top-line sales or customer service. Professional Store Supervisor focuses on operational leadership best practices training that align all activities for sales and profit optimization. Customer Service Excellence focuses on best practices to beat current sales trends, grow sales and exceed basic budget expectations.

“This is a very exciting and revealing program that challenged us to defy current markets and just grow sales and profit,” said Kirk Elgin, retail counselor at AGBR. “The guys at Retail Control Group gave us the tools and pushed us to think outside of the box. Our retailers responded with great enthusiasm and now, it’s not just a program. We’re moving forward to help every retailer to grow.”

Associated Grocers is a wholesaler co-op serving 220 independent retailer-members in Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas and Alabama, and remains committed to its original goal of helping the independent grocer remain competitive. In addition to increased buying power, the wholesaler provides its members with services including retail accounting, advertising, engineering, marketing, retail technology, and merchandising.

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