Stores across the country are basking in the warm glow of bigger baskets and soaring sales, with many dubbing the summer of 2014 as the most successful in recent years.
Many retailers, including Londis’ Charles Brading of Vic’s Stores on the Isle of Wight, have reported double-digit sales growth for June, July and August, driven by sales of chilled BBQ products, local soft fruits and sparkling wines.
”Sales are up about 10% on this time last year. It’s exactly what we needed following the floods at Christmas. Shoppers can’t get enough of local berries, sparkling wine and fresh sandwiches. ”
David Heritage, Barns Green Village Store, West Sussex
”The weather has been a blessing as it has helped combat some of the decline we see from locals going away. Sales of soft drinks, ice cream and BBQ foods are up. ”
Chris Taylor, Taylors of Tickhill, South Yorkshire
“We’ve seen our strongest sales in the store’s 50-year history,” Charles said, attributing the rise to the weather and the addition of a second chilled store room.
“Customers have noticed the improvement in our range and quality and have been buying more. Fresh salads, fruit and veg have been huge sellers, as have sparkling wines such as Prosecco thanks to strong promotions. We have Prosecco on offer through Londis at £6.49 and it’s flying out,” he added.
Premier retailer Dan Cock of Whitstone Stores in Holsworthy, Devon, said it had been the best summer in eight years. “There have been some days where we turned over more than double we did at the same time last year. A lot has been down to the weather, but it’s also to do with changing shopper dynamics. Shoppers are increasingly choosing to visit c-stores for the convenience, quality and value.
“We’ve also invested in marketing to boost awareness of the store among holiday parks and campsites, which has helped. Soft drinks, BBQ food and alcohol, including sparkling wines, have been the big winners.”
HIM senior research manager Blake Gladman said the recent hot weather had led more shoppers to look to convenience to satisfy their immediate shopping needs. HIM’s latest Shopwaves survey revealed a higher increase in visit frequency to c-stores. “This is most probably linked to the good weather with impulsive parties, BBQs as well as an increased need for key convenience items such as chilled soft drinks & alcohol,” Gladman added.
Summer 2014 has been given an extra fizz thanks to the sparkling wine market.
The Southern Co-operative said Prosecco sales had tripled in the six months to date compared with the same period last year, while Spar’s brut Prosecco sales are up 170% year on year.
Strong deals are helping to drive sales and as C-Store went to press Londis had 75cl bottles of Prosecco on offer at £6.49, Spar Perlezza Prosecco was £7 and the Co-op’s own-brand Prosecco was on offer at £6.66. Tesco was selling Prosecco for £6.49, while Aldi’s is retailing at £5.39.