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ERA UK franchisees collaborate to help Clintons maximise profits

All of our cost consultancy business owners have the ability – and are actively encouraged – to work together. This allows more savings to be made in each consultant’s specialised field, in turn improving clients’ bottom line and increasing franchisees’ own profits.

The power of this approach is illustrated by the results driven by a group of franchisees for greetings cards and gift retailer Clintons, on behalf of parent company Esquire Retail.

Why did Clintons need ERA’s help?

Despite their household reputation for quality products, Clintons is not immune to the rise of ecommerce and personalisation offered by competitors. To make matters worse, like many of our beloved high street shops, Clintons felt the full force of Covid-19’s arrival – temporarily closing a high proportion of its premises and seeing sales fall considerably.

It was at this point when Esquire Retail’s Head of Finance, Dominic Green, engaged the services of ERA’s Senior Principal Consultant, St John Rowntree, and his team of specialists.

Their objective was simple: optimise procurement to free up the capital which would allow Clintons to survive and grow.

How did ERA get started with Clintons?

It’s common for businesses to be apprehensive about trusting third-party consultants with procurement, especially those of Clintons’ size. However, all ERA franchisees receive training and ongoing support in overcoming these potential hurdles.

In this instance, Clintons initially entrusted the assigned ERA team with reducing spend in two “test” categories: waste management, and stationery & PPE.

When it quickly became clear significant savings could be achieved, the green light was given to St John and his team to optimise costs in six additional areas: packaging, helium gas, insurance, mobile phones, landlines, and point of sale.

What savings did ERA generate for Clintons?

By utilising their knowledge and experience across these targeted specialised areas, we are delighted to say this ERA team were able to deliver substantial savings in all reviewed cost categories.

How ERA’s team made it happen

Waste management

“I helped Clintons to achieve 25% savings on its waste and recycling. The work involved improving the unit rate from the incumbent supplier and making several changes to rationalise services. We monitored that the new services were implemented appropriately at each store and provided guidance to make the project a success.” Dan Howells, Waste & Waste Management Specialist


“Instead of going to landfill, what if bags could be recycled again and again? That was the packaging procurement challenge set by Clintons. The company said goodbye to virgin plastic bags, reduced their carbon footprint and made tangible savings in the process.” Richard Anson, Packaging Specialist

Stationery and point of sale

“By switching suppliers, Clintons were able to make savings of 32% on stationery procurement. For point of sale, we again went to the market and found a 20% saving with a new supplier. Clintons were keen to allow the incumbent supplier to improve their pricing, so I invited them to do exactly that. They did, so Clintons were able to remain with their existing supplier at the improved price.” Keith Copestake, Stationery, Office Supplies & Print Specialist

Helium gas and communications

“By carefully analysing the feedback on a detailed survey sent to store managers, ERA was able to recommend the optimum size of helium cylinder that could be safely delivered, stored and handled at every site. The project achieved savings of 18.2% at a time when helium prices were being squeezed. As well as the helium gas project, our communications team worked closely with Clintons’ head of IT to reduce the number of lines required in each store, resulting in savings of 23.2%.” St John Rowntree, Principal Consultant

What did Clintons make of ERA?

“ERA was able to exceed our expectations, and we remain delighted with the outcome.” Dominic Green, Head of Finance, Esquire Retail

Putting faith in ERA consultants’ specialised knowledge

“I knew ERA would do a good job,” explains Principal Consultant St John. “With the help of my talented colleagues, we were able to soothe any concerns about disruption and focus our attention on finding savings and adding value.”

For these ERA consultants, it’s a case of more savings and another happy client. But there are thousands more businesses out there who need to see similar results to their bottom line right now.

So why not put your own business and management expertise to great use by becoming an ERA cost consultancy business owner? You can draw on the combined specialists across the globe to deliver considerable business optimisation – and considerable savings mean considerable profits.

To find out more, please contact us to request a copy of our franchise opportunity prospectus. This explains in greater detail how the ERA business model works to deliver fantastic long-term results for you, including information on financial models and the countless benefits of collaborating with our global network.

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