Marketing ideas for butcher shops
Advertising your business
Whoever your customers will be it is essential that they get to know about you.
There are a number of things you could do to promote your business:
- distribute a leaflet that tells people about your shop, including details of your product range and prices
- advertise in your local newspaper and any other local publications
- buy space in a local directory
- set up your own website which includes pictures of your most tempting product ranges and details of any outstanding features of your range. You could even take orders online. It’s a good idea to regularly email registered customers with details of seasonal special offers
- have tastings and promotions to make customers aware of your range
- make a feature of your window display to attract customers
Special offers and discounts
You may decide to offer discounts to certain groups of people, such as pensioners or students or on sales made during quieter periods of the week as a way of boosting sales. You may also decide to offer discounts on stock that is approaching its sell-by date so that you are not left with excessive amounts of wastage at the end of the day.
Don’t forget to brief your staff on which, if any, customers are entitled to a discount and how much. Guard against staff offering unauthorised discounts to their friends and relatives. Work out how much discount you will allow to your staff and what, if anything, they can eat on the premises free of charge (if, for example, you are planning on selling pre-cooked items).
Research your target market
It’s very important to make an estimate of the number of people that will use your shop each day and the amount they will spend. You need to be aware that the retail meat sector is dominated by the large supermarkets and that the number of independent butchers – and the market share that they hold – has fallen significantly over the last 20 years as a result. Supermarkets and symbol shops have about 80 per cent of the market between them, while independent butchers have just under 9 per cent.
Meat and other items normally sold by butchers are available from many different outlets such as:
- convenience stores, including those owned by the supermarket chains
- freezer centres
- farm shops, farmers markets and delicatessens
- online butchers
So it’s a good idea to find out whether there is room in your area for your proposed butchers shop. First, check out the local competition. Count how many outlets there are already in your area which sell meat and meat products and identify the range of goods they sell. If some of these are specialist butchers, note down whether they are independents or part of a regional chain.
To get an idea of potential customer numbers you could stand outside an existing butcher in a nearby location and make a head count of the number and type of people who shop there. Make a note of any days that are busier than others.