Retailers enjoyed a busy Easter weekend as last-minute purchases left their shelves bare.

On the longest bank holiday weekend of the year, sales peaked as retailers reaped the benefit of the supermarkets’ shortened hours.

Saturday proved to be the busiest day for many as retailers witnessed a sales spike due to customers making last-minute purchases.

Binny Amin of Blean Village Londis, Kent, said he had sold out of Easter eggs by Saturday afternoon. “We saw a huge uplift in a short space of time; it was difficult to keep the shelves full,” he said.

“Our freshly-cut flowers and bouquets made by our local florist kept the customers coming all weekend, and we saw a sales increase of 6%, even our average basket spend went up by more than £1.”

Dean Holborn of Holborn’s, Redhill and Nutfield in Surrey, also sold out of Easter eggs in both of his stores after a manic Saturday rush. He said: “I took all the eggs off of promotion on Thursday to optimise our profits. Sales over the rest of the weekend were buoyant, too, especially with the supermarkets shut on Sunday.”

Susan Connolly who owns four Spar stores in East Wiltshire, said her stores had reported a brilliant weekend, with sales exceeding that of last year. “We made sure we had a bit of everything, especially chocolate eggs, fresh food and BBQ products. It was our opportunity to show people what we can do,” she told C-Store.

Susan spent the weekend helping out another retailer at Gwilwern Garage in Abergavenny. “There was face painting, cider tasting and even free cakes, which shocked a few people,” said Susan.

Paul Sohal of Nisa Crich in Derbyshire said it was getting harder to compete with the supermarkets at Easter so tries to give his customers extra reasons for shopping with him. “This year I entered each person who bought an egg into a raffle to win a giant chocolate egg. I didn’t have any left at the end of the holiday.”