Andy Singh invited me to visit his family shop in Sunnyside, near Gateshead, yesterday, and I spent an enjoyable hour with him talking about business yesterday. We were consistently interrupted by shoppers popping in to top-up, which was great!

When I arrived, Andy pointed me to the space in front of his till where he had put pancake mix, honey, Nutella, and golden syrup. “Pancake day,” he said. I was surprised but within minutes the first shopper arrived in store asking if he had any pancake mix. “Just here,” he said. “Great!” said the shopper, adding a tin of golden syrup and buying a big bar of chocolate on promotion as Andy had run out of chocolate sauce.

Remarkably, more shoppers came in to buy materials to make pancakes and Andy was able to send them all home happy.

Andy, with his dad, runs a great shop. He is on first name terms with most of the shoppers. Everything is well merchandised and clearly priced. By having a strong and trusted relationship with his shopper, Andy can upsell.

If your promotions are not working, perhaps you need to look at your basic proposition. If it is not good enough, perhaps even your regular shoppers are blinkered to the opportunities to buy more!