While stores across Scotland are reporting winning sales as the Commonwealth Games reach their mid point and warm weather continues to reign, those situated near key venues are reporting arduous trading conditions.
Prohibitive delivery windows and overzealous parking enforcement are being blamed for stock shortages and a fall in footfall at a number of small stores in and around Glasgow.
Spar retailer Thaer Hamid, whose store on Cathcart Road is next to the Hampden Park Stadium, said the first week had been “very difficult”.
“Our deliveries must take place before 6am and while CJ Lang has been very supportive and excellent at getting them in to us by then, some of our smaller crisp, cakes and drinks suppliers are unable to do so,” he said. “Irn Bru supplier AG Barr made one extra-large delivery before the Games kicked off but is now unable to re-supply us for three weeks. I’m worried that we’ll run out of this key Scottish brand before then, especially as the weather is so good.”
Thaer also berated officials for their “heavy handed” parking enforcement. “Customers are being frightened away by the restrictions which are made more confusing by the lack of signs. Police and traffic wardens have simply been ticketing cars parked outside and even towing some away,” he added.
The Scottish Grocer’s Federation (SGF) has been working hard to communicate traffic management plans and delivery restrictions to its members, but said that the Games were posing a challenge for some stores.
Elsewhere in Glasgow, staff at Kings Park Convenience Store on Aikenhead Road are having to make repeated trips to the local cash and carry after their milk and bread suppliers refused to deliver while the Games were on. “Our local customers are also frustrated as they can’t park outside the store,” employee Waqar Zafiq said.
Nisa has altered routes and delivery times to stores to ensure “minimum disruption”, supply chain director Jonathan Stowe said.
Away from Glasgow, other Scottish stores are experiencing a positive sales boost.
Edinburgh-based Premier retailers Linda and Dennis Williams said soft drinks and snacks were up on last year and the pair were getting behind the event with promotions and bunting.
Nisa has created a specific point of sale kit for the games and brand manager Rachel Dawson said the Games “created an opportunity around the Big Night In theme.”
Scotmid CEO Colin McLean agreed: “We’re anticipating extra footfall and a boost across snacks, pizzas, ready meals, soft drinks and alcohol, while people watch from the comfort of their living rooms.
“We are also expecting that our customers will be enjoying more favourites from iconic Scottish brands such as Irn Bru and Tunnock’s Tea Cakes,” he added.
Spar Scotland marketing manager Gerry Welsh said there was a great atmosphere in towns and villages.