What’s that peeking out from behind the clouds? It couldn’t be, could it? Well, look up and you may see a little bit of sunshine piercing through the grey skies. Flowers are showing signs of life and in the distance you may just make out the early bleats of a newborn lamb. All of this can only mean one thing, spring is here.

At this time of year it’s important for retailers to ensure their store is fit to take advantage of shoppers’ optimism.

If your shoppers are in a good mood then it’s important your staff are, too. Our research shows that staff friendliness is of number one importance to shoppers when they visit a convenience store. Indeed, 69% of shoppers claim that great service can be as simple as just a smile.

Fresh produce is also bang in season and shoppers will be looking for a quality offering. Getting your fresh fruit & veg range right is a great opportunity to grow sales and footfall. Our research shows that in stores that shoppers rate as 10 out of 10 for their range of fresh fruit & vegetables, spend is on average 12% more and visits 60% above the typical shopper’s.

Now is also the time that preparations for the summer months should be well under way. The football World Cup kicks off on 12 June and the carnival atmosphere will not be exclusive to Brazil. As many as 83% of those planning to watch the World Cup will do so at home (either their own, or at a friend’s) so it’s important you have the right range, promotions and POS to ensure they’re stocking up at your store long after England are knocked out.

Currently, only 11% of shoppers think that c-stores promote events such as the World Cup well (compared with 42% for supermarkets), so perhaps now is the time to understand what the supermarkets do that captures the shopper’s imagination and ensure that you offer something to get them equally excited.

Of course, you cannot forget the staples of a British summer. Simple BBQ and picnic solutions will always be winners, and remember to have a steady supply of chilled soft drinks and alcohol at peak times. Oh, and perhaps an umbrella display. Well, it is a British summer, after all.