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A great instore operational efficiency story

SWL's productivity partnership with Henderson Group

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SWL’s partnerships focus on continuous improvement, where the Retail businesses can be the Best they can Be for their Customers. This is another great instore operational efficiency story of their dedication and drive towards this goal.

This is an excellent article in this month’s SPAR International Contact magazine, focussing on #operationalefficiency achieved through one of SWL’s long-running partnerships.

#retailing #operations #productivity #SPARpreferredsuppliers

You can read the full article in Contact here:


or read spar-international.com‘s LinkedIn article here:


Operational efficiency is key for any retailer. SPAR works with a range of preferred suppliers to ensure the latest products, services, and equipment in our warehouses and in our stores. SPAR UK partner Henderson Group’s Warehouse on Wheels initiative, in collaboration with SWL and Wanzl, offers a prime example of the benefits that working with SPAR Preferred Suppliers can offer.

To learn more about operational efficiency in stores, Henderson Group and SWL Group in 2018 and 2019 executed a comprehensive analysis at the SPAR partner’s estate. This comprised focused measurement across 20 SPAR and EUROSPAR stores. Among other aspects, this analysis showed that considerable savings were achievable along the process of moving products from the back of house to the shelf. Fit for purpose replenishment equipment was identified as a key opportunity to leverage greater efficiencies.

While prior analysis had found that the cost of moving a case from Distribution Centre to store was roughly €0.71 per case, the short journey from back of house to shelf rose to €1.04. Looking closer at this last piece of the product journey, SWL also found that 16% of instore labour hours are used for replenishment.

With the idea that “the last ten yards should not be more than the first 50 miles”, the SPAR UK partner has implemented a series of initiatives, including its innovative Warehouse on Wheels solution.

SWL advertisement in SPAR International's CONTACT magazine. Catalysts for positive change in 2021 - instore operational efficiency

Optimising replenishment

The conventional method of replenishment of loose items consists of a team member surveying the shop floor and compiling lists of products that need restocking. After going to the warehouse and selecting the required loose goods, they then take them onto the shop floor with a small trolley. This process is often time and labour intensive, requiring multiple trips to the warehouse.

As part of the Warehouse on Wheels solution, deliveries that arrive at a store are directly unloaded onto category-specific stock trolleys. These can then be rolled directly to the shop floor, allowing team members to replenish stock in one easy trip.

After restocking the shelves, they can simply return the trolleys to the back of house area, without having to take the remaining stock out. This solution not only makes it easier to replenish the shop shelves, but it also leads to less damaged or lost supply and improves stock rotation.

The stock trolleys used in this initiative are the KT3-X model, offered by Wanzl, another SPAR Preferred supplier. In support of this initiative, SPAR International has in place a SPAR discount on these stock trolleys. Besides a lower standard price per stock trolley, SPAR has established a volume-based rebate giving a further discount based on the total amount of trolleys purchased by all SPAR members together. This discount is available to the wider SPAR community so all can benefit.

SWL are the instore operational efficiency experts. For more information on our broad spectrum of retail productivity solutions, please visit our home page.

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