THE POWER OF SMALL RETAIL SHOPS.

Eddie Mugulusi, Founder at Fab Creations

Through my interaction with numerous small business owners I have come to the realization that many have not quite understood let alone tapped into the power of small retail outlets in pushing products. Often times they primarily rely on small supermarkets within Kampala, Wakiso and Mukono to sale their products. Snacks such as crisps, “daddies” and muffins made by small businesses for example are quite well represented on those shelves. However when it comes to the shelves in many small retail outlets, the same exact products are hardly there. Why is that?

The estate in which I reside has one small shop a couple of meters from home where all sorts of household items are sold. Twice each week, there is a vehicle that delivers bakeries such as a variety of bans and cakes among other things. What’s interesting to note is that by the time the second delivery of the week arrives, the shop usually has pretty much nothing left. All that is delivered at the beginning of the week normally runs out within two days and it’s usually a fair quantity. One time, as part of my never ending research, I engaged the shop owner to determine the volume of bakeries she moves a week. According to her narrative, each time the vehicle makes a delivery, she purchases products worth USh 80,000. So twice a week puts the total at USh 160,000 just for one small shop. Now think about the hundreds of shops out there that this vehicle could be delivering to as well.

Retail outlets are the major selling points for our juice product #ShakeEnkooge in all the districts we have presence. We realized early on that these shops were able to deliver a high frequency of purchase for the juice, something that the small supermarkets were unable to do. It was also quite evident to us that the number of retail outlets across the country was simply too big to ignore. Their big number makes them much more convenient and accessible for the masses. Perhaps I should also point out that these small shops are more flexible with payments. While a supermarkets might insist on paying you once they’ve sold your items, retailers on the other hand will be more willing to pay cash.

As a small business owner, you need to delve into research to understand the buying habits of those people who frequent those small shops. This avenue could be just what you need to boost sales.

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