Retailers’ prayers were answered this month as sizzling temperatures sent c-stores’ sales soaring across the UK.
Some stores experienced record-breaking turnover as the extended heatwave helped to compensate for last summer’s washout.
Saki Ghafoor reported a 15% weekly uplift at his Nisa store in Ashington, Northumberland. “Last year wasn’t good weather-wise, so a hot summer is essential this year,” he said. “It’s the last chance we have to really drive sales this year as we can’t compete with the multiples for Christmas sales anymore.”
Emyr Jones, who owns two Premier stores in South West Wales, said sales had exceeded £20,000 a week at his 1,300sq ft Dre-fach Felindre store for the first time since it opened in 1999. “We really struggled last year because of the weather. Now things are going so well I’m looking to buy another store.”
All four of Rav Garcha’s West Midlands Nisa stores saw a weather-related boost. “Sunshine is important to sales in general, but even more so now because we don’t have all the events we had last year,” he said. “We’ve sold plenty of fresh produce and flavoured ciders, and we sold out of miniature vodkas, which people were adding to their Slush Puppies.”
Stores in holiday locations reaped the greatest rewards. “It’s very important for us to have a good summer,” said Dan Cock, owner of Whitstone Village Stores in Cornwall. “We have a 30% uplift with holiday-makers, but the recent hot weather is a big bonus. We’re now 50% up - it’s the fat that you live off in the leaner winter months.”
Daniel Wilson, who owns seven stores in and around Scarborough, saw a massive 83% sales boost at his Nisa Local seafront store The Sands, but his stores further inland were also benefitting from the summer heat. “Trade is up across the business - our Peasholm store is up 20% and our Newborough unit is up 31%.”
“The sun comes out and out come the credit cards! Customers don’t think about the recession when the weather is nice. Our weekly sales have seen a 12% uplift.”
Malcolm’s Store, Coventry, West Midlands
“Turnover at my stores is up 15% and we’ve had increased sales of drinks, ice cream, crisps and snacks. As a country everyone is grumpy, but we’re happy when the sun comes out. People come here as they can’t be bothered to waste time in the supermarkets.”
Londis Etwall and Matlock, Derbyshire
“We’re running about £4,000 up this week, which is up 20%, and I’m checking the weather forecast all the time so that I can be prepared.”
Londis Liversedge, Yorkshire