As the Six Nations rugby tournament intensifies, independent retailers and symbol groups are focusing their sales on pub-goers and fans watching at home.

“A lot of villagers here go round to the sports and social club so we’re stocking easy meals for people who have been there for the afternoon and want something for when they get home,” said Joe Williams, of the Village Shop in Hook Norton.

A Nisa Local spokeswoman said retailers were being offered Six Nations-themed PoS that tied in with the group’s ‘big night in’ promotion. “Research shows people are more likely to socialise indoors in the colder, penny-pinching months after new year, and so Nisa Locals are encouraged to offer deals on sharing bags of crisps and chocolates and frozen meal deals, which all received a Six Nations-branded boost,” she said. 

Nearer Twickenham, Dinesh Patel, store manager at Gerhold Fine Food & News, said he was offering a ‘four cans for £5’ deal, adding ales available in cans tended to be most popular among young fans.