Walkers Shortbread Ltd

Walkers Shortbread Ltd

Middle East brand management

Walkers Shortbread Ltd

Richmond or ‘Walkers Dubai’ as they are referred to internally by Walker’s Shortbread run the Middle East regional office for Walkers Shortbread managing all regional distribution across 16 countries in all channels, including travel retail and the Middle East airlines.

Almost 20 years ago Richmond and Walkers entered dialogue as to the best way to strategically increase sales and grow the brand in the Middle East.

20 years after the partnership began with a hand-shake between Sir Jim Walker and Ronnie Pegna, the regional business has grown from sales of pallets per annum to annual multi-million Dollar sales across the region.

As Walkers regional office, Richmond provide a full 360 degree service.

These stages include:

In-Country Analysis

Richmond initially conducting in-country analysis as to the current status of the market and the category in question. This includes all category analysis and reviews, surveying comparable products and then assessing the viability of specific Walkers SKUs in the specific market.

Route To Market

The appropriate route to market is then discussed and selected, be this direct to retailer, via a local Distributor, via consolidator or perhaps an alternative.

At this stage, if appointing a local Distributor is the selected route to market, Richmond spend time in-market visiting and meeting potential Distributors and compile a short list of proposed best-fit Distributors.

Simultaneously, collaborative discussions between the new Distributor, Walkers Shortbread and Richmond are ongoing where the portfolio and range of SKUs and brands is discussed and selected for launch and the value chains built for each SKU.

Pricing Evaluation

The pricing of each SKU will be built meticulously to ensure that pricing is aligned to the adopted strategy. This means that the pricing on shelf in comparison to competition is exactly where it is intended to be.
This involves reviewing all elements of the value chain, analysing all margins, planning for any future increases, variations and fluctuations.
It also involves squeezing the value chains where appropriate, with discussions taking place around annual Activation and Promotional (A + P) budgets for each SKU and a plan of the weighted distribution strategy over a period of time.

Account Management

Once the products are launched Richmond then assign a key account manager who works to support the Distributor and act as Walkers Shortbread’s regional person on the ground.

This ongoing ‘boots on the ground’ service supports the distributor, assisting with all elements of the business. This includes training sales staff, guiding merchandisers, plannogrammers, meeting the buyers in the trade, many whom Richmond have known for many years.
It involves working hand in hand with the Distributor in forecasting, reviewing monthly stock and sales reports, reviewing category trends, building A+P budgets and then helping build the activation and promotional mechanism and running the selected promotion.

It also includes assisting with planning of NPD, range developments and the ongoing regional evolution of the brand. This means not just being production lead by the manufacturer, but Richmond using their local expertise to help shape the offering and the creation of ‘market lead’ products.

Richmond and Walkers most successful example of market lead collaboration occurred with the creation of Camel Shaped and Camel Cartons SKUs, a huge regional success.

This was born from a close working relationship between Walkers Shortbread and Richmond Enterprises, Richmond’s local knowledge, close working relationships and willingness to listen to the market.

The level of trust between all parties allowed for the creation of a product that the market(s) wanted and an ongoing success.

The hands-on and can-do attitude of the Richmond team, superbly lead by senior management, are second to none. Read full testimonial.

Alan Campbell - International Director