Convenience store owners have mixed expectations for the Christmas period. Special offers from supermarkets and the uncertain economic climate are dampening hopes for some, while others are cautiously upbeat.

Bedfordshire Nisa Local retailer Kishor Patel said he was expecting buoyant sales. "We hope to do quite well, but nothing amazing. It's not a major profit driver, but it is a footfall driver."

Fellow Nisa retailer Saqib Ghafoor, who has a store in Gateshead, Tyne & Wear, said he was hoping for better sales than last year. "In 2009 the recession was new and people were being very cautious. However, this year shoppers know where they stand with jobs. We will have plenty of offers and it's a good opportunity to attract new customers."

Spar retailer Jackie Butler, who has a store in Poole, Dorset, was also upbeat about the Christmas sales opportunity and is expecting better-than-normal sales thanks to an array of alcohol promotions.

However, Chris Pollard was far less optimistic. The Nisa store owner from Selby, North Yorkshire, said he expected Christmas to be his worst week of the year as shoppers turned to the multiples for all their festive food and drink.

Last week both Costcutter and Budgens revealed plans to boost sales over the festive period. Costcutter launched a new promotional leaflet for shoppers plus an eight-page guide for retailers on how to boost their alcohol sales, while Budgens launched a new TV ad campaign the first in nearly a decade.