Convenience store retailers across the UK are playing to their community strengths and applying the final gloss to plans for celebrations when Prince William and Kate Middleton tie the knot on April 29.

The Spar store in Kate Middleton's home village of Buckleberry, Berkshire, is holding a Royal Wedding party with a large marquee outside the store. "We have been handing out special invitations to all the locals and are expecting hundreds on the day," said Chan Shingadia, wife of store owner Hash, who last week received a Royal invitation to the wedding itself.

"As well as all the events outside such as face-painting and live music, we'll also be running lots of special promotions to really get people in the party spirit," she added.

Spar has also produced some special commemorative point of sale material for the big day to help retailers make the most of the opportunity.

The day was also sparking waves of excitement among community owned stores, the Plunkett Foundation's Katherine Darling said.

Community owned Elston Village Shop in Elston, Newark, has organised a bouncy castle and large projector screen to show the wedding, and will be supplying refreshments.

In Barnstable, Devon, Lesley and William Brown are planning to hold their own 'wedding service and reception' at their Frankmarsh Village Stores, complete with Kate and William lookalikes, a cake and a DJ.

"It's a fabulous opportunity to interact with the community, and I would advise all other retailers to get involved and host their own celebrations. And just one week before local elections are held, it's also a perfect opportunity to invite and get familiar with local MPs," said Lesley.

And even those not holding special events could expect "a handy boost" to business, thanks to increased sales of party foods, the British Retail Consortium has said.

Local products are also expected to prove popular, with a number of breweries planning to launch commemorative ales. Bristol's Pieminister has even launched a limited-edition Kate and Wills pie.

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