I don’t know what it’s been like for you, but it’s been very quiet here and our reps have said the same thing about other stores.

That’s the good thing about having a strong relationship with your suppliers, they provide a good gauge of nearby customer trends.

They’re all saying that it’s because of school holidays, but I think it might go a bit deeper than that. I think it’s because shoppers’ money might be a bit tight. Yes, because of holidays, but they just aren’t spending as much. What have you noticed?

The last few weeks have been a bit tough, not only because of customers, but because of absent staff. We employ a lot of youngsters who go on long holidays with their parents, so managing staff has been tough. My wife, daughter and I are working longer hours or we’re asking other staff to work more – which they seem to be happy about.

Our hot food sales have dropped and we aren’t sure why, but we’re still ticking over.

The silver lining is that it’s allowing us to prepare for the next season. The summer has flown by and it’s crazy to think we’re already starting to plan for the winter. We’re already beginning to sell our home heating fuels, because the evenings are already cold.

The end of the summer may be quiet, but at least it gives us time to contemplate on the next season.