Sally Croft, co-owner of Croft Stores (Nisa) in Silverstone, Northants, says demand for home-baking products continues to soar as shoppers turn their hands and ovens to bread and biscuit making.

Matt and Sally Croft

Sally and Matt Croft, Croft Stores

“Demand for home-baking essentials such as flour, sugar and eggs is at an unprecedented level, we can barely keep up with it to be honest and have had to source elsewhere to top up our normal supply, just to meet the demand.

“While the initial panic about the virus and subsequent bread shortages prompted a rise in home-baking to fill people’s stomachs, it seems that now people are doing it to fill their time.

“People have so much more time on their hands now and are baking bread and cakes for pleasure and parents are baking with their kids.

“We’ve always stocked a small range of homewares and DIY products and demand for these types of goods has also gone through the roof as a result of larger DIY shops being closed and people passing the time by finishing all the odd jobs they’d been putting off for years.

“Demand for personal grooming products is also huge. With nail and beauty salons closed I’ve lost count of the number of customer requests for nail files that we’ve had so of course we have stepped in to fill that!

“Adult puzzles have also become incredibly popular. We used to sell a very small range of these as gifts but in the last few weeks they have flown off the shelves and we’ve had to source more. People are just looking for anything to help them pass the time in lockdown, especially some of our elderly and isolated customers.”