Scottish butchers urged to promote their products more

A reported 39% of Scottish butchers don't promote home-grown produce
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Scottish butchers should promote their advantages more, Jonathan Winchester, founder and chief executive at mystery shopping service Shopper Anonymous told Scottish Federation of Meat Traders Association (SFMTA) members at their annual meeting.

“What do farm shops and butchers have in common?” he asked. “They are hopeless at promoting what they are really good at.”

According to data based on mystery shoppers’ visits to 40 butchers in the Scottish Highlands and Islands in April this year, 39% of them didn’t carry signage plugging home-grown produce. That was despite the fact that it was an integral part of their offer, said Winchester.

A total of 43% displayed no signage to indicate their shop sold locally-grown produce and, he added: “You have got to get better than that.”

He also urged butchers to upsell to their customers, with only 33% surveyed attempting this. But he stressed their approach did not have to be too heavy-handed and could be built on asking open-ended questions about shoppers’ needs. Almost three quarters of shop staff attempted to build conversations with their customers and Winchester said: “That actually isn’t too bad.” But just 64% asked open questions, according to the research.

Despite being members of a prestigious organisation such as the SFMTA and supporting the Scottish Craft Butchers brand, less than half the butchers surveyed promoted either with signage, said Winchester.

However, despite these results indicating room for improvement, he said the butchers visited yielded a score of 84% for presentation, customer service and sales skills, above average for a UK butchery counter.

Overall, 76% of shoppers canvassed at the outlets said they would continue to be regular customers, while 24% said they would not.

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