I normally have all my fresh produce in the first chiller you see as you walk through the door, but the recent good weather meant that sales of root vegetables had slowed. I decided to adapt my offering based on what my epos data was telling me, and reduced the 2m of fresh to just half a metre of salads and fruit. I then blitzed the remaining 1.5m with water in both impulse and take-home sizes, which went down a storm with thirsty customers.

Disposable barbecues did well, too, and I completely sold out of paper cups and plates. This was great as there’s a good 50-60% mark up on paper goods.

The downside of the hot weather is that it’s not uncommon for chillers to break down, but I discovered you don’t always need to call in the repairman. An engineer explained to me that often the chiller motor just cuts out because it is over-heating. He showed my team that if you give the motor time to cool down, then it’s just a case of lifting the lid of the compressor and pressing the reset button to get it started up again. It happened to our beer and wine chiller one Sunday morning and we were able to get it up and running within the hour simply by following his advice.

I’ve taken on four new members of staff in recent weeks to prepare for the store switching to 24-hour opening. Someone from Londis is coming in to train staff on customer service and avoiding underage sales.

The staff aren’t the only ones looking to improve their knowledge. When I took part in the Investors in People scheme a while back, I had a consultant analyse whether I was training my staff in the right manner. I am now going to get in touch with Londis to see if they can help in this area. After all, how do you know you’re doing everything right if no one is measuring your performance?

As well as dealing with the day to day. I’m currently working with suppliers in preparation for when the students start back at Oxford Brookes University in September. Last year Tchibo and Kepak did some good promotions, and I’m now in talks with Britvic about an energy drinks display. I also have Heinz coming in shortly to see whether sales have increased following their category work.