Valentine’s sales are always made at the last minute, but you need to get products out weeks in advance so people know you have a good offer.

We had a selection of cuddly toys at the counter, a dedicated card display, a gondola end full of boxed chocolates and wine, and fresh flowers outside. Last Mother’s Day, when the store had been open only a few weeks, we sold out of flowers, so I’m doubling orders this spring.

We have also got our shell eggs on display. Space is limited, so I’ve displayed them on the tops of shelves around the store. I have popular lines from all the main brands, as well as premium eggs from Thorntons, Lindt and Ferrero.

When we took on the store, Londis gave the staff induction training and said they weren’t allowed to take holidays on New Year, Christmas and Easter. I didn’t really appreciate the importance of that at the time, but now I’m really glad that was the case as all our holiday seasons are so busy.

Obviously, it’s great to have a busy shop, but you have to ensure that standards don’t slip. Sunday is our busiest day and the shop can look a mess by the end of it, so I’ve recruited a new member of staff to come in on Sundays from 4pm til 11pm, just to face up. It will definitely result in increased sales.

I’m also hoping to grow sales by making the most of product displays. I have ordered a small wicker basket display for packaged bananas. I used to sell two cases a week, but now that I’m showcasing them, I sell five. I’m thinking about ordering a taller version for loose fruit by the counter.

Walkers came to see how we could improve our crisps and snacks range. We weren’t stocking any Monster Munch, so we now have four facings of roast beef and flaming hot, and eight facings of pickled onion. We’ve also moved our grab bags from the grocery aisle to the alcohol section. It makes sense as they are often eaten at get-togethers.

Walkers was going to give me a wire display unit, but I negotiated to get a clear plastic fixture, which really shows them off. Sales appear to have gone up, but I’ll have to wait a few weeks before I can check on the epos system.

Dr Oetker has also been in to re-lay my frozen pizza display. To my surprise, I wasn’t stocking the number one pizza line, Chicago Town’s Deep Dish, so they’ve ensured I’m well stocked up. In four weeks’ time I’ll be analysing the sales data, so hopefully I’ll see some good results.