The 2014 festive period delivered healthy sales and profits to convenience store retailers across the country.
Mandeep Singh, who owns three Premier stores in Sheffield, said sales were up 24% across the board on New Year’s Eve compared to the previous year.
He attributed the sales success to well-executed promotions on social media, especially Facebook. “We pay a company to do our ads, so they’re done really well. A lot of people don’t do it properly. It’s how you tell people about your deals.”
He sold out of Ciroc vodka, which was on offer at £19.99 instead of the usual £34.99. However, despite losing margins on that particular product, overall margins were healthy on New Year’s Eve.
Mandeep also delivered to 17 customers on 27 December, when Sheffield was engulfed in snow, from his Tenyham Road store.
Mukesh Patel of Moat Stores, in Malvern Worcestershire, traded throughout the festive period but said business was “noticeably busier on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day”.
Sales at Paul Wilks’ Budgens store in Bedgrove, Bucks, were also up “in line with expectations”.
“Sales were positive, and strong across all the key categories including alcohol confectionery and chilled goods” he said.
“We were closed on Christmas day so trade on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve was very brisk. Fortunately I have fantastic staff to deal with the rush and offer great service and festive spirit.”
The store had received a substantial amount of local and national press attention in the lead up to Christmas Day after it was revealed that long-serving sales assistant Josie Brown had handwritten more than 4,000 cards for local customers.
Josie, who was the Sales Assistant of The Year independent category winner in 2008, had spent around £400 on cards for local people and many late nights writing out the greetings.
“Josie is quite simply a lovely person and that’s why she got as far as she did in the Sales Assistant of The Year awards,” Paul said. “She’s a real asset to the store, and particularly at this time of year,” he added.