Harj Dhasee, one of our seven expert retailer columnists, explains why now is the time to get ready for summer.
There aren’t many events on this summer, but all good retailers that invest in their store will create events and those who don’t will suffer. You’ve got to do it yourself, you’ve got to make it happen.
We’ve started introducing our salads and reducing our dead winter lines. We’ll eventually have two shelves of salads and we’ll replace the big pies, pastries and sausage rolls with picnic-sized packs.
In our soft drinks, we’ll have three shelves of water. The increase in the living wage means that we’re conscious of saving as many working hours as possible. We can restock our water in the morning and by the evening it’ll probably be battered, but if you only have one shelf you have to restock in the day.
Pimm’s will be back on the shelf this week and we’ve ordered in Crabbie’s and Archers Schnapps Woo Woo.
As soon as the weather gets warmer, we’ll get in barbecue supplies. It’s so important to sell disposables, coal and briquettes. You have to have everything as barbecues are arranged last-minute because the weather is so unpredictable.
Shoppers want the whole solution, they want alcohol, meat and barbecues together. It’s easy to bring chilled lines into it; if there’s a warm weekend ahead, grab some charcoal and briquettes and put them in front of the meat chiller.
We’re promoting Nisa’s 40th anniversary by donating £350 to a local girls’ football team. They’re going to come to our store for three weekends across the summer, wearing their kit and thanking customers to give them the feel-good factor.
The money is through Nisa’s Making A Difference Locally programme, so we’ll be giving out leaflets in store and talking about what we’ve done in the village.
I hope that suppliers get more involved with retailers this summer and I invite anyone who wants to come and work with us and the community to come see us.