Tills across the country were set ringing by the back-to-school rush, with many stores reporting rises in footfall and sales in the first half of September.

High street retail footfall grew by 1.4% in the week commencing August 29, according to the Experian FootFall commentary, with the rise attributed to the start of the new school year.

Summer 2011 yielded generally positive trading figures for many of Convenience Store's readers, with shop local campaigns and, in particular, a dip in foreign travel being credited for the buoyant trading conditions.

According to the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA), the number of Brits who jetted off to foreign shores this summer was down 1% on last year, driven by the weak pound and the fact that many UK adults took long Easter holidays instead.
opinion Your views
Sales in my East Grinstead store have been strong throughout the summer months, although they were slightly down on last year at my Horsham store. However, sales at both experienced a boost over the past couple of weeks as people got back into their normal routines of school and work." 

Anjali Karpal Essential Convenience,West Sussex 
"I'd agree that this has been a much better summer in terms of sales and footfall. Far fewer people have been away on holiday I know because next to no one cancelled their home delivery subscriptions for the period. The back-to- school rush also helps. Lots of older people start coming in when the kids have gone back to school. I think it's less intimidating for them." 
Des Barr, Sinclair Barr Newsagents, Paisley

"Many savvy travellers realised that by booking three days leave they could end up with an 11-day break from work over the Easter and Royal Wedding period," said an ABTA spokeswoman.

"This boosted bookings, with more than 600,000 having left from Heathrow and 250,000 from Gatwick over the Easter weekend," she added.

Manny Patel, owner of Manny's in Long Ditton, Surrey, reported a good summer. He said: "Business has been really consistent in the past six weeks, if slightly up on last year. I'd say that fewer of my local customers travelled abroad this summer, which has been great for us. I'm expecting trade to pick up even more in the coming weeks now the kids are back at school."

Spar retailer Patrick Moon from Hackenthorpe, Sheffield, credited the weather for buoyant sales. "This summer has definitely been better than the previous two, and I think the weather has been largely responsible. Sure we've had some rain recently, but we did have some nice sunny days in July and at the start of August, leading to strong ice cream and soft drink sales," he said.

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