The summer of 2018 will certainly be one to remember. With record-breaking temperatures, the Royal Wedding and the Fifa World Cup having taken place, it’s pretty fair to say that May, June and July have been pretty good months for our sector, with many stores recording positive sales and footfall results.

With the warm weather still gracing us with its presence, August looks like it’s also shaping up nicely.

However, that’s not to say it’s all been plain sailing. The conditions have also created something of a perfect storm for availability.

Shortfalls have appeared in a number of categories as heightened consumer demand could not always be met by the wholesalers and suppliers, who don’t seem to be carrying quite as much stock as they used to. Presumably they are attempting to keep costs down in the same way that we retailers do.

Availability of soft drinks, beer and cider has been particularly challenging at times, and certainly not helped by the current CO2₂ shortages.

With hot weather such as we are currently experiencing looking more and more likely to become the norm in the years to come, there are clearly some lessons that need to be learned.

As a starting point I would say that retailers would do well to pay much closer attention to the long-range weather forecasts, while suppliers and wholesalers need to put better contingency plans in place.

In any case, it’s all a good learning experience and I’m already looking forward to the summer of 2019 with anticipation.