For 125 years the National Trust has been carrying on the ambition set by its founders to care for nature, beauty and history. A charity, the Trust manages over 500 heritage projects and almost 250,000 hectares of land. It also publishes a broad range of books and sells these, alongside a wide range of National Trust branded products from gardening to food in its own shops and other locations.
I was delighted to provide an expert opinion on how the commercial teams were planning and buying ranges and distributing them to stores and the website, taking into account the unique proposition of the Trust and the need to generate more income from its products. As a much- loved brand, the opportunity to develop the retail business is significant.
My report provided suggestions on how to integrate the upfront planning process to ensure decisions were taken in a timely manner whilst getting input from the properties. It also proposed how to structure the buy to balance local requirements and the core ranges, considering space available in every location and financial budgets. Communication of the plans to the broad group of volunteers and staff at the different properties was also key to achieve a strong execution of the ranges. The recommendation was to develop key categories such as food significantly, which has been done very successfully.