High holiday season is about to begin. This could be good or bad news for you, depending on where you trade. Then again you might be considering a holiday yourself. I was contacted by a young woman who was concerned for her parents. She says they run a medium-sized coastal village convenience store with a post office and help from staff half a day. They work long hours seven days a week, with failing health. She wondered if I could recommend any store management companies that could run the place prior to it being sold.

Unfortunately no, I don’t know of any such company. I suggested trying the National Federation of SubPostmasters, or the National Federation of Retail Newsagents.

The closest I could come was holiday relief since that is basically what she was looking for, but for an extended time.

While poking around the internet I came across an old blog by Steve Denham who ran a village store for more than half his 40-year retailing career. The blog chronicled how he and his wife always managed to get regular holidays through active membership of the NFRN. Two years ago Stephen Hitch left a comment on the blog saying he had been a relief manager for more than 20 years in the Yorkshire area and had recently expanded to cover the whole of the UK. He covers newsagents and off licences. I tried his land line (01924 496379) and the voicemail says “you are through to Retail Relief Services” but he wasn’t around. Probably a very busy bloke.

Anyone know of others? I get asked every year.