A busy Christmas trading period has boosted retailers’ confidence for the year ahead, Convenience Store can reveal.

Independent retailers across the country reported steady sales either side of December 25, with many experiencing increases of more than 5%.

“Christmas was really good for us,” said Nisa Local retailer Rav Garcha, who owns four stores in the West Midlands. “It being on a Tuesday really helped as we had two decent shopping weekends when our competitors had to close early.

“If things continue at this rate I’ll be well positioned for 2013. Offering value for money will be a key focus and I’m planning to boost my range of round pound lines so I offer value across all the categories,” he said.

Convenience Retailer of the Year 2012 Knight’s Budgens of Hassocks, West Sussex, enjoyed two record sales weeks in the fortnight before Christmas, with sales up 8% year on year, store owner David Knight reported. “A lot of effort and planning went into it, but in the areas where we really went for it, such as fresh, sales took off,” he explained.

In East Grinstead, West Sussex, Anjali Karpal of Anjalika Convenience Store reported strong sales as shoppers looked for bargains.

“Our sales were up more than 5% on last year’s Christmas period. It puts us in a strong position for 2013. Footfall grew steadily throughout 2012 as shoppers looked to save money by shopping little and often, and I am convinced that the trend will only continue to grow in 2013. Those retailers who deliver on convenience, price and service stand to profit,” she added.

Bal Chema of Avenue Food and Wine Store in Sheerness, Kent, said she was feeling confident about the year ahead. “I believe that we are in a great position for 2013. We are growing year on year and expect more of the same. Offering the right promotions is key, and we recently joined a retail club to help us do this better,” she said.

According to the ACS Voice of Local Shops survey, 44% of retailers thought their sales would be steady in 2013, while 32% expected them to increase.


Your views

❝ We’ve been trading for 15 years and 2012 was by far our best Christmas ever. I think it’s all down to the fact that we had a fantastic range, with lots of great local products, including turkeys. We also set up a santa’s grotto for the local children on the Saturday just before Christmas and that turned out to be a great footfall driver.”

Nas Hudson

Spar Seasalter, Kent


❝ Sales for the last three months of 2012 were up 15%, and 30% if you count the lottery. We closed on Christmas Day, but trade on Christmas Eve and Boxing Day was really brisk. We took on the business just over two years ago so are thrilled with how well we are doing. We are thinking about investing in a refit to take things further in 2013.”

Bipin Haria

Seaford News, Seaford, East Sussex