During one of the Local Shop Summit breakout sessions, a member of the audience said his wage bill would increase by 33% when the National Living Wage increases to £9 in 2020. He asked how the retailers on the panel were planning ahead for such a big change.

Eddie Poole from Moira said he was creating a market theme in one of his SuperValu stores, focusing on higher margin fruit, veg and dairy and less on groceries. His advice was start planning now and test what works, not when your wage bill has already spiked and the pressure is on.

Focusing on high margin categories is a theme that runs through this week’s (30 October) special report in Retail Newsagent on mitigating the impact of the National Living Wage.

What’s clear is that the same formula will not work for every store. Chris Shelley’s new Horsham c-store will focus on fresh and chilled, while for Sussex-based Peter Lamb it’s food and hot drinks to go.

Focusing on high margin categories is a theme that runs through this week’s special report on mitigating the impact of the National Living Wage

This wouldn’t work for Kamal Sisodia in Leicestershire, though, who is near a popular Greggs. He is focusing on e-cigarettes and stationery instead.

Craft beer is another growing trend that might not be right for every store. London-based Ash Patel grew alcohol sales by stocking his son’s favourite hoppy beers. Derby-based Vip Measuria, meanwhile, didn’t think there would be demand in his area, but was proved wrong when he added One Stop’s craft beer range.

If you think craft beer could be the answer to making the National Living Wage work for your store, follow our 10-step guide also in this week’s Retail Newsagent. But don’t be afraid to say no to things that don’t work for you because one size doesn’t fit all.

Don’t miss RN’s 30th October issue for our special report on the National Living Wage