It was a happy Easter weekend for convenience retailers who reported excellent sales over the four-day break.

Stores which bolstered their seasonal ranges were pleased to see empty shelves by the end of the key sales period, driven by better promotional activity.

Spar Belfast retailer Kevin McTasney said his expectations had been exceeded. "Sales really picked up on Easter Friday and I sold 90% of my eggs on the Saturday after the multiples had run out. Mars did some great deals this year which shoppers loved, such as three eggs for £5. General sales over the period were also good, we were up by 1% on last year."

Hastings retailer Dave Newman was surprised to find the same eggs he was selling were priced £2 higher on the shelves of his local Tesco (see Dave's column, p12).

Osnat Patel of St Andrews News in Burgess Hill, East Sussex, had also sold out of his Easter stock by the end of trading on Easter Monday. Having a busy Sixth Form College nearby was a good sales spinner, he added.

The collapse of Woolworths in 2008 was still having a positive effect on convenience stores, added West Sussex Londis retailer Ramesh Shingadia.

"We ordered 15% more Easter eggs this year because we ran out last year. I was only left with a very small number by Easter Monday. Our overall sales were also up 10% on last year, and on Easter Sunday the store was so busy that people were queuing down the aisles."