We have the reputation in this country of looking for the cloud around every silver lining, but I strongly believe that the 2012 Olympics is going to be a tremendous success.

In fact, I would argue that it's already a tremendous success. Some have found cause to complain about the ticket allocation system and, while it's perfectly understandable for those without tickets to be hugely disappointed in the way things turned out, it just goes to show how much the Games have already captured the public imagination. Remember that around four million tickets have already been sold, at an average price of £50, for something that doesn't even take place for another year. Recession? What recession?

And it's not just London that will benefit, either. A number of events will be taking place throughout the south and east, and the Olympic football competition will use some of the nation's finest football stadia throughout the entire country.

Even those not lucky enough to attend the events themselves will be glued to the TV coverage, representing another big opportunity to sell food and drink from local stores wherever you are. Plus there is potential for a massive feel-good factor for the entire nation fed up with the austerity and penny-pinching of recent years.

Yes, there will be disruption, to traffic and other normal patterns of trade, and it may require some creative problem-solving to get round it. But there is a huge upside ready for canny and resourceful retailers to capitalise on. I hope you can get your rightful share of the spoils, and earn yourself a gold medal.

Light up your store
At Convenience Store we love to give retailers as many chances as possible to develop their business and achieve their goals, and we have two great examples in this week's edition of the magazine.

First, a truly unique opportunity for one of your most inspirational staff members or customers to carry the Olympic flame for a section of the official Olympic Torch Relay in Britain next year.

With thanks to torch presenting partner Coca-Cola, we're on the lookout for 'future flames' to represent the local store industry in arguably the largest global event ever staged in this country. Turn to p37 for more details on how you can enter.

Second, I'd like to remind you to get your entries in for this year's Sales Assistant of the Year Awards (see p17). This is a tremendous platform to show your thanks and appreciation for the unsung individual or team that makes your store tick. Time is running out, so get your entries in now.