By the time you read this, the Easter rush will be over and hopefully we will all be happy with the way things turned out.

Seasonal events are vital for most to get a boost in revenue. We see it as a huge opportunity to try to attract and retain new customers. Like Christmas, people use our stores a little more at key event times so if we set our stall out properly, the prospect of new regular customers in this market is highly lucrative.

It comes down to planning and more planning. Easter actually started for us the year before when we put in orders about October. Since January we have held a meeting every four weeks to monitor sales and slowly build the consumer offer as we get closer to the main event.

As I write this, the tabloids have proclaimed a national Easter egg shortage and our carefully planned orders are starting to show some ‘cracks’ (sorry, had to get it in somewhere). What has been interesting is to see so many new customers coming in for eggs, moaning about our multiple competitors not having much left apart from own label chocolate eggs.

Many are surprised by the breadth of range we carry and, as our new Budgens brand essence is all about discovery, we have stocked some rather interesting eggs this year, with chocolate Fabergé and Marmite eggs being up front with huge demand. It’s great to see people excitedly picking up products saying ‘We haven’t seen this anywhere before’.

Our challenge now is to capture all of the anecdotes and retain all of our data, have our Easter wash-up meeting and ensure that next year is just as exciting and different for our customers.