Baz Jethwa, who owns three Spar stores in the Bolton area, says his newly expanded range of flowers has been keeping him busy.

”We’ve been making a few changes to make the store more summery. James Hall has just upgraded our flower range so now we have more than 80 bunches in store. These require a lot of attention and a lot of TLC. So far they’ve gone well and I think they are very inviting. If customers know we have a good range of flowers they will come in especially to buy them plus it creates a nice display in store and contributes to making the store’s offer feel fresh.

”Just keeping on top of availability in food to go and fresh is keeping us very busy aswell. We make 300 to 400 fresh sandwiches a day and as we move into the summer these go even quicker; at the moment over 25% of our sales are in food-to-go.

“We’ve also started getting stacks of beer in ready for the World Cup and we’ve put up some bunting and tried to create a bit of theatre.

”We did do a bit for the royal wedding, although we probably could have done more, but we put out magnum bottles of prosecco along side the bbq offer and sold a quite a few of those.”

Successful NPD:

”Pink gins are going well. The new Beefeater Pink Gin and Gordon’s Pink Gin are both going really well. It’s all about linking it with other products such as raspberries and Fever Tree tonic and making a bit of theatre to catch people’s attention.”

Beefeater London Pink (rrp £20 per 70cl), flavoured with strawberries, was launched earlier this year and Gordon’s Pink Distilled Gin (rrp £16.50 per 70cl), flavoured with strawberries and raspberries, was launched last year. Both aim to appeal to a new, younger adult audience. Gordon’s Pink Gin was voted winner of our  ’Product of the Year’ award in the Convenience Retail Awards 2018.

What’s hot: Food-to-go is definitely the best category for us

What’s not: Dried grocery products such as tins are the slowest