Small stores report a snowfall windfall

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The recent spell of Arctic weather has refreshed sales and caused little disruption to deliveries, retailers have told C-Store.

With snow and ice affecting much of the country, shoppers have been avoiding their cars and increasing their basket spend locally. Thom Morton, of Nisa Tattenhall, Chester, said sales were already up 10%, but the cold weather had pushed them up to 15% compared with the previous year. “Bread and fresh soup at our deli counter are selling well, while kindling, coal, de-icer and rock salt have all been flying out.

“We’re in a rural location so people are coming to us more and more, rather than getting in the car, especially over the past couple of weeks. We’ve had no problem with getting deliveries from Nisa,” he said.

Sunder Sandher, a Londis retailer in Leamington Spa, said his sales were up about 5%, driven by demand for soup, salt, gloves and de-icers. He added that bottles of Calor gas had sold really well and were “extremely profitable”, while three-weeks’ worth of coal sold out in two days. “Deliveries from Londis have also been excellent,” he said.

However, Bav Parekh, a Premier retailer near Bolton, said the snow had disrupted some of his deliveries, causing him to run out of Warburtons goods. But he added: “The snow has helped overall. Sales of grocery and chilled, and winter warmers such as soup have all gone up. People are coming here because they can’t make it into Bolton town centre.”

Darren Macdonald of Bishops Retail, a chain of forecourts in the North-east, said footfall was down because fewer people were driving, but that basket spend was up “so it’s levelled out”. “There’s been an uplift of bread and milk and everyday essentials,” he reported.

Tony Scott, of Scott’s Budgens, Bampton, Oxfordshire, said recent snow had brought him more customers and accounted for three-quarters of the 14% year-on-year growth. “Everything sold well across the board and Budgens were excellent with their deliveries,” he added.

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