OPINION: Getting your store ready for Easter – Harj Dhasee, Mickleton Village Stores, Gloucestershire

'Expect lots more people to celebrate Easter at home this year and prepare accordingly'

Easter eggs

Easter is easily one of the biggest trading opportunities for retailers after Christmas – in fact, for us, it’s actually bigger and busier than Christmas. That means it’s really important to make sure you’ve prepared for it properly, your availability is strong and your ranging is correct. That’s especially important with the cost-of-living crisis.

Confectionery sales always go up in a recession because people start treating themselves little and often. They can’t spend money on a big holiday or eating out at restaurants, so they’re buying alcohol and food to have at home rather than the pub. Expect lots more people to celebrate Easter at home this year and prepare accordingly.

The focus should be on having promotional activity and displays in store to capitalise on sales early. I recommend buying conservatively for Easter, though, because if you have excess stock afterwards, no one will buy it.

If you do run out, you can top up with purchases from the supermarket. So, keep that conservative level and hope to run out at Easter weekend and then top up.

At Easter itself, eggs are more of a distress purchase so the price becomes less important. Also, don’t over-promote during Easter weekend itself.

You should definitely have an offering of budget Easter eggs. We find that the £5-10 eggs sell most successfully. But you should also have a selection of premium options as well. That’s really important because premiumisation is still important, even with the cost-of-living crisis. Thorntons is your basic premium option, but it’s definitely good to have a strong selection of Lindt Easter eggs. The eggs should already be on display, if not by the end of March, to let your customers know you’re stocking them. They should be prominent as well.

If the weather is good, barbecue products and packs of beer will sell well. Beyond that, you can look at non-food items. Have a strong Easter flower display, it can follow on from Mother’s Day. We’ve got Easter napkins and Easter plates for kids’ parties, as well as bunting. Decorations always sell well.

You can do even more in store as well, with activities like raffles, where you raffle off a big Easter egg, but the most important thing is decorating the store. It really gets customers into the feel of Easter. Everything is so doom and gloom at the moment, so Easter bunnies and chicks, bright spring colours and decorations in the store can really brighten people’s day up.

Read more of our expert opinion on the independent retail sector


This article doesn't have any comments yet, be the first!

Become a member to have your say