The temperature may have taken a tumble, but gin, cheese and greetings cards are still heating up sales at Mike Dorey’s Eastcome Stores in Gloucestershire.


“Our alcohol sales continue to be phenomenal. We already had a good range of competitively-priced wines and local bottled ales which did well for us prior to lockdown but they are noticeably stronger since.

Gin, something which we could hardly shift at all prior to lockdown, has also become a huge seller, it’s a brilliant indicator of what people were choosing to drink in pubs and restaurants before the virus hit and also of things that they were buying in supermarkets.

Other surprising smash hits include lemons and limes, presumably to go with all the home-made gin and tonics! Avocados and other salad items have also been selling strongly, and when it comes to dairy; mozzarella sales have gone through the roof.

Mozzarella was something we practically never sold before lockdown. I’d buy it in and it would just sit on the shelf until its expiry date came round. Now, I’m selling up to three cases a week! Philadelphia cream cheese is the same, presumably because so many people are making cheesecakes at home now. Greetings cards have also become another very profitable story for us. With town-centre card shops closed we have done hugely well with our card sales which is great news for us as the sector enjoys some good margins.

I just hope that the increased levels of footfall and sales hold on in the months to come. Shoppers are creatures of habit and whether they will return to their old ways and routes of purchase when we come fully out of lockdown remains to be seen.

Hopefully we have done enough to change mindsets, we’ve certainly worked hard enough at it and given our all to ensure that local people can buy what they need when they need it as conveniently and safely as possible.”