With the arrival of summer comes a desire to get involved in sport – whether it’s watching or taking part. Charlotte Buxton finds out how you can use it to boost sales.

Retailer views
  • “We have promotions around the store that are relevant to the time, such as bottles of squash for Wimbledon, and crisps, snacks and beer for the football. I recommend offering meal solutions for a night in and make sure your store is appropriately dressed so that consumers know that you’re supporting the event.”
    Raj Aggarwal, Londis Wigston, Leicester.


  • “We provide tuck shops bags, crisps, snacks, bottled water and even the trophy to a school sports day. In return the school promotes us so it is well worth doing.”
    James Woolsey & Robert Moles, Scotch Street Filling Station (Mace), Craigavon.


  • “We sell tennis rackets and footballs for the community, but not too many because toy displays can easily get messy.”
    Nayan Amin, Best One Dunstable, Bedfordshire.


  • “We sponsor a local football team’s kit. It really works – we see the players come into our store all the time.”
    Ramsey Cheema, Costcutter, Halesowen, West Midlands.

Go for goal this summer.

“The sporting summer is likely to be a major opportunity for convenience stores, with many spending time watching sport in the comfort of their own homes, but choosing the right range can be difficult,” says Susan Nash, trade communications manager at Mondelez International.

doritosBoth sweet and savoury treats are popular choices for family and adult gatherings, and retailers need to make sure that all tastes are catered for, she says. It’s crucial to have a range of sharing bags on offer for these customers.

The soft drinks category traditionally sees a spike in sales when it comes to summer sporting events – particularly when temperatures increase, says Lisa Marraffa, marketing director at iPro Sport. Retailers should make the most of products with sporting associations, she says.

Simon Harrison, wholesale director at Coca-Cola Enterprises, agrees. He says there is no shortage of opportunities for retailers to capitalise on soft drink sales this summer as people increasingly watch televised sport at home. “Retailers should look to provide soft drinks in different flavours and formats to give consumers choice,” he says “Stocking a range of soft drinks in 4x330ml multipacks and a choice of larger, sharing formats of colas and flavoured carbonates will ensure there is something for everyone to enjoy,” he says.

According to Heineken, the top reason for purchasing beer and cider in convenience stores is a planned get-together with mates. This is closely followed by men shopping for beer and cider for a quiet night in, perhaps to accompany a meal or to drink while watching a football match or sporting event, says Heineken off-trade category & trade marketing director Craig Clarkson.magnum

Ice cream is another lucrative category over the summer, so retailers should make sure their freezers are stocked up and in a prominent position in-store, says Unilever, which has launched two limited edition Magnum flavours for this summer – Pink Raspberry and Black Espresso. The products are being backed by a £13m marketing campaign.

Creating great displays

Creating in-store displays or designated spaces themed around a sporting event, such as the Rugby World Cup later this summer, is a great way for retailers to make the most of the occasion. It gives shoppers a go-to area to choose their refreshments and snacks, as well as helping to drive impulse buys, according to Coca-Cola Enterprises’ Harrison.

displayBritvic recommends taking advantage of at-home occasions created by events by using seasonal displays that include everything needed, for example snacks, soft drinks and sweet treats to inspire purchase.

“Research shows 67% of snacks and soft drinks are consumed together, but only 13% are sold together,” says Nigel Paine, GB out-of-home commercial director at Britvic.

“A Britvic trial using retailer EPoS data showed that by linking soft drinks to bagged snacks, sales increased by up to 16% for on-the-go soft drinks and 34% for 2l bottles of Pepsi.”

To make the most of the sales opportunity, snacks could be positioned next to a chiller or display solutions used to bring the categories together, he adds.

jcPernod Ricard is encouraging retailers to tap into alcohol sales opportunities this summer by getting premium wine and spirit offers ready and being creative with in-store displays, using PoS and cross-merchandising solutions.

To support this, it is launching campaigns behind its premium wine and spirit brands; Jacob’s Creek, Malibu and Havana Club.

Diageo also recommends retailers bring top-selling spirits brands from behind the counter onto the shop floor to allow shoppers to access what they want easily.

Learn how to give your soft drink sales a boost this summer here.