Richard Dance, owner of six Co-op Welcome stores around Southampton, says introducing self-serve slush to all his stores was a winning idea.

“We’ve rolled slush out into all six stores now. They are self-serve. We were a bit nervous about the self-serve aspect but the bit of mess it causes is far outweighed by the profits we make.

“We’ve also merchandised a whole bay devoted to healthy snacks. This includes Nakd bars, Co-op own brand nuts, Creative Nature bars, Bear Claws, Pea Snaps, Eat Real crisps. These are all going really well.” 

Richard adds that it’s been a really ‘odd’ summer. 

“We had a really good start but the weather’s been patchy through the holidays which has made things difficult to predict.

”Alcohol is still fairly robust and local ales are going well. We try to get plenty of locally brewed ales in store. Also, the chilled category, particularly fruit and veg, are still going well for us.”