Royal Canal Financial Control Services

044 937 5962

Retail cost saving tips

In trying to reduce costs you may consider some of the following options:

Purchases for resale

• Review and monitor waste levels, especially in the deli. Use our waste record sheet to record waste and credits due.

• Search for alternative suppliers and have them send out their updated price lists on a regular basis.

• Check out our business directory for possible alternative suppliers. The directory only contains suppliers who specifically replied to our request to have a directory of suppliers willing to offer credible alternatives. If you know a suitable supplier, perhaps you could ask them to contact us to be added.

• Get the balance right between bulk buying and  managing cashflows. Use our Stock Reorder Quantity Calculator to monitor and improve your purchase and stock levels.

Wages & Salaries

• Use our Wages Calculator to project the cost of your rostered wage bill. Focus on varying hourly rates per employees and employee overtime rates payable.

•Negotiate pay reductions with staff, whilst remaining compliant with the Retail Grocery JLC minimum rates.

• Know the acceptable wages budget for the level of shop turnover, and always ensure your rostered wages is within this budget level.

• Schedule activities before they become urgent. For example, have a rostered staff member responsible for stocking of shelves on a constant basis, rather than having to roster an extra staff member to stock shelves each time a large delivery is expected.

• Consider store layout in terms of reducing staff numbers by having the tills and deli counter in close proximity.

Life Assurance Costs

• Contact us for details of our designated life assurance broker who will actively search for cheaper alternatives.


• Review each category of insurance to ensure you are neither over/under insured.

• Get alternative quotes – consider using an insurance broker who may charge a small fee but may have access to better quotes.

• Consider whether the insurance payment plan is needed. Is the spreading of the cash outflow worth the interest payment due?


• Consider approaching the landlord for a temporary rent reduction.


• Check the last valuation date on your rates – has the value decreased in the interim?

• Contact your local council/authority to see would it be possible to get a rates reduction due to hardship.

Light & Heat

• Regularly review the cost of your bill with other providers – contact us for details of special discounted rates available through our network affiliates.

• Ensure refrigeration equipment is regularly cleaned to ensure optimum energy usage.

• Considering switching off non-essential chilled refrigeration units at night, possibly investing in timer switches. e.g. mineral fridges.

• Ensure all covers are closed on refrigeration units at night.

• For late night/daylight opening, ensure unnecessary lights are switched off in the store. This would include having at least two switch settings for the shop floor area. Consider installing sensor lights in back-office corridors.

• Ensure external timer lights are correctly working from dusk until close of business only.

•Review SEI Quick Wins for Retail List for further tips.

Repairs and maintenance

• Review your maintenance contracts and compare to what they would cost if you paid as you needed the maintenance. Use past service activity as a guide.

Telephone costs

• Regularly review your telephone bills – contact your supplier to ensure you are on the correct package. Review to ensure you are using all lines which are being billed.

Wrapping & packaging costs

• Review the level of gloves being used in the deli and paper towels – are staff being constantly swapped from deli to non-deli resulting in constant use of new consumables?

Finance costs

• Consider using banking online services as much as possible. Typical savings are as follows (Bank of Ireland published comparison, September 2009):

a. Account Transfer (InterBranch/InterBank) – up to 38% saving

b. Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) – up to 62%

c. Cheque Cost €1.42 (Processing €0.37, Stamp Duty €0.50, Postage €0.55), Account Transfer €0.24, saving of 83%

Banking online monthly subscription fees start from €15 per month.


• Make use of the Royal Canal Retail Network, an informal get-together with another retailer . Share your insights with other retailers, and learn how they deal with problems you are encountering.