Convenience retailers say trading during the World Cup so far has been as disappointing as the England team's performance.

Londis retailer Barrie Seymour said there had been some upturn on the days of England matches in his West Yorkshire store, but nothing spectacular. "It's better than usual, but not as good as we thought it would be," he said. "We get more of an increase in sales when the weather improves."

David Newman of Westhill Stores in Hastings, East Sussex, was concerned about unsold merchandise. "So many companies are giving away England flags and posters that we may be left with some to put into storage until the next tournament," he said.

Retailers had expressed high hopes for the tournament, with Nisa-Today's reporting that 100,000 more cases had been delivered to stores from its distribution centre in the week before the World Cup than the same period last year.

Multiples' cheap deals on alcohol have been blamed for the lack of sales. "We just can't compete with those," said Raj Aggarwal of Londis in Wigston, Leicester.