Much has been said and written about the success of the Games, with praise being heaped on the organisers from all corners of the globe.

Here on our family holidays in California, virtually everyone takes the time to praise “the GB games” when they learn where I’m from…and American viewing statistics support this - London 2012 was watched by more Americans than any other Olympics - bar Atlanta ‘96 - for almost 40 years.

Having been to many of the Olympic venues over the last few weeks, sometimes with friends, sometimes with my kids, what stood out for me was the outstanding commitment from the volunteers, the near perfect levels of organisation and the sense of fun, excitement and anticipation created at each location.

I empathise with the retailers and wholesalers who have suffered the almost surreal “ghost-town” in London this August but I believe they will also benefit now that London has positioned itself as even more of a global “must go to” city (like Barcelona in 1992).

London 2012 wasn’t just for Londoners - it was for the nation. People from all over the country flocked to see The Games.  Now is the time for the nation to build on the euphoria, pride and first-hand experiences generated by London 2012. 

We need levels of customer service in c-stores to be better than ever. We need retailers and staff to think “yes of course” to any reasonable customer request. We need stores to be fun, exciting, thrilling and personal. We want retailers to be engaged with their communities.  We want retailers to recruit staff who are “people people” - colleagues who love interacting with customers and deliver outstanding service (there are behavioural and personality profiling tests available, which only takes six mins for potential new recruits to complete, and are not expensive - this could ensure retailers recruit the right people)

In June, 60% of symbol/indie retailers said they were doing nothing to support events like the Jubilee, Euro 2012 and The Olympics.

A bit like Mark Cavendish in the cycling time trials, anyone who starts blaming everyone else for their own failures suddenly starts to look pretty isolated.

 Luckily, for those 60%, you have a second bite of the apple, with the Paralympics starting this week.