With the evenings getting lighter and consumers dusting off their summer wardrobes, the beginning of the peak sales season for impulse ice cream is imminent, and there’s a lot to remember as you get your range and display ready. What are the bestsellers? Where’s the best place for your freezer? What can you do to drive extra sales? Here four retailers from four different kinds of stores share their tips on Ice cream sales

villageThe busy village store Jagjiv Singh

Premier Stores, Edenthorpe, South Yorkshire   We have two schools nearby so parents and children often come in to shop with us, plus we are on a road into Doncaster and a lot of businessmen and women stop by too. This means that on the hottest days up to 70% of our customers will buy an ice cream, although we sell Carte D’Or and Magnum multipacks throughout the year too. Ice cream is a really good footfall driver and we can get at least 40% margins on it. I always look to see what deals are available at Donnie’s, a local wholesaler that provides us with cheaper lollies like Strawberry Splits, which we sell at around 50p. With cheaper products we never know which ones we’ll stock because we go with whichever come with free extra outers or are discounted.

innerThe inner city store Ushi Vithani

Front Page News, Thamesmead   We have just set up our ice cream freezer and will keep it out until September. The rest of the year we don’t sell any ice cream so we use the space near the front of the store for things like cards and calendars instead. Our best-selling ice creams and lollies are the ones for kids because we are very close to a few supermarkets where they do cheap mini-packs, and we are also next to a Blockbuster with a full range of impulse products. It limits the range we can stock and, because we have a lot of council housing and rented properties in the area, only a very few of our customers would be attracted by a premium offering such as scoops. Children and parents make up around 70% of our sales in this area. They often prefer cheaper products such as Mini Milk, Twister and Calippo so we are always looking for deals. We’ve usually done this through Palmer & Harvey but I am looking at a supplier who offers a free outer of orange and strawberry Calippo lollies when you buy eight best-selling lines, including things like Magnum.

beachThe seaside high street store Hina Olive

Days News, Margate, Kent   Last year we started to sell our own scoop ice cream, rather than the standard brands, to offer customers a bit of variety. We’ve got a One Stop and a Tesco on our street so the competition means having something a bit different is really important. For us this has had a big effect because we’re gaining a reputation for selling scoops: we sold 600 last year at £1.10 for a single and £1.50 for a double. Rum ‘n’ raisin, coffee and strawberry are the favourites with adults but kids like our range too because we also have hundreds and thousands and sprinkles.  At this time of year it’s not tourist season so our customers are mainly locals. For them, during the rest of the year, we stock pricemarked Wall’s Viennetta and value tubs as it is impossible to compete on the bigger brands with the supermarkets.

sparThe premium food store James Brundle

The Village Store, Walthamstow, North London   Through the year we sell the tubs our symbol group, Spar, supplies, plus Ben & Jerry’s and Häagen Dazs. We also sell a frozen yogurt brand called I Love FY and award-winning ice cream called Antonio Federici from a smaller supplier. It comes in pecan and chocolate & hazelnut varieties and sells very well. For the past two years, between June and September, we’ve had an ice cream machine and have sold frozen yogurt as well. It gives us sales of up to 30 cones a day, retails for about £1.75 and we get really good margins of near 70%. We offer lots of different toppings including strawberry sauce, hundreds and thousands, crushed nuts and even fresh blueberries. We put the products next to the till and provide our staff with plastic gloves so they can serve it immediately. Frozen yogurt is a lot healthier than soft scoop ice cream so we find that about 60% of our customers are adults. I got the idea for stocking more frozen yogurts because of the number of dedicated shops, such as the Lick chain, that are appearing.