Early in September, Samantha Ackland-Jones of The Village Deli in Storrington told me that she was thinking about Christmas and what to buy to enhance her shop’s range.

At 530sq ft it is a small shop and already full of products from local independent suppliers from across Sussex. She also said that while the business was doing well, working capital is limited, so she didn’t want to buy products that would have little value if they didn’t sell before 25 December. My wife Lynda was part of this conversation and, after looking around the fully stocked shelves, she said: “You have a unique range of products that fill the store – why would you need to add more?”

Recently, I returned to The Village Deli and I discovered that Samantha had been very creative with both a window and an in-store display, illustrating the wide variety of gift hampers that she can create for her customers. Her son, Sam, who also works in the store, has produced a poster promoting the hamper service, using the store logo they use across all their promotional material. She also offers multi-bottle gift boxes for beer, cider and wine to make the most of the store’s extensive local alcohol range.

Christine Hope of Hopes of Longtown in Hereford, who has been offering her customers gift hamper ideas in store and on their Facebook page for several years says: “Use Christmas order forms to pre-order and customers collect them on 23 December and Christmas Eve.” Sales of her hampers normally represent an extra day’s trade.

What are you doing to promote local products this Christmas?