Summertime can bring with it many highs and lows for convenience retailers - many of them very closely related to the weather forecast, writes HIM’s Katie Littler. With over a month before schools go back and a summer bank holiday on the horizon, how can we make the most of the rest of summer 2015?

Bank holidays are a key opportunity to drive footfall and sales. One in five UK adults say they will be spending more on food and drink for the bank holiday weekend vs a typical weekend, and there are certain categories they’ll be looking for in convenience stores, including alcohol, food for BBQs, snacks and soft drinks.

It’s also worth noting that us Brits tend to ‘indulge’ a little more on bank holidays, so healthy products are less prominent on our shopping lists. As many as 36% are intending to ‘consume more alcohol’ and one in five are likely to buy higher quantities of desserts, chocolate, ice cream or cakes! So ‘Treat yourself’ communication and displays in-store will be welcomed. Try placing indulgent treats front of store or at checkout to drive impulse purchases while shoppers are in ‘treat mode’. Also ensure alcohol displays and promotions are prominent in the days leading up to bank holidays, as well as fully stocked throughout the weekend itself.

Another opportunity to drive sales this summer are BBQs. An astounding 39% of Brits intend to host a BBQ this summer and 52% intend to attend one. What are the main products Brits purchase for their BBQs? Number one is still burgers (served at 88% of BBQs), while just 44% of BBQs this summer will include an offering of vegetables and 59% salads. In-store displays should also include associated products such as sauces (bought for 71% of BBQs) and alcohol (69%).

The promise of good weather is the number one driver for us Brits to take the cooking outside, but it’s worth noting that simply seeing BBQ-related promotions in-store as well as BBQ-related displays in-store can inspire shoppers to get the charcoal lit. If there is a sniff of good weather retailers can drive BBQ sales with the right in-store visibility. If there isn’t a demand or an upcoming ‘event’, then great retailers will go ahead and create one. Fingers crossed for sunshine!