South East London retailer Amit Patel is helping his customers take a break by offering a holiday booking service.

Amit has linked up with travel agent Fly on Time to offer flights and accommodation booking in his Belvedere News Food & Wine store. “We have POS to promote it in store and the customers come to me with their destination and date requests. I feed them back to the travel agent and they let me know the cost and details, which I relay back to the customer,” he explained. “They’re generally long-haul flights to Africa and India, rather than short-haul flights, and recording the details usually only takes about 15 minutes to do.”

As well as earning him commission, Amit said the service brought more customers into the store due to it being a unique service, something he believes all retailers should be looking at if they want to survive.

“The old methods of retailing are redundant with so much competition from the multiples and discounters, and retailers need to offer services that customers won’t get anywhere else,” he said. “The more services I can offer that will bring people in, the better.”