From last Sunday until the 9th September, small stores across the nation have lost one of their most significant unique selling points – being allowed to open for longer than 6 hours on a Sunday.

This will be a challenging time for independent convenience stores – the Tesco Extra near me, for example, will be open from 6am to midnight on every Sunday during the period.

Here are some ideas you might consider to help keep your customers choosing you over a multiple.

Sunday-only promotions: ask your supplier to help you with eye-catching deals and run a couple a week until September.

Run Sunday events such as food or wine tastings.

Make sure your store front is sparkling and shows that you really are open for business!

Highlight your opening hours.

Check how you can be found on the Internet and if necessary, do something to improve your visibility.

Increase your Sunday sales floor personnel – and ensure that they are well trained and working to maximise your sales.

Discover your Sunday best sellers and ensure full availability. Also think about how you can be  promoting them during London 2012.

Sunday newspapers are habit purchases so think about up-selling to these to customers with an offer only available at the counter. Get your staff to interact with your customers!

You may find that you will want to continue the strategy beyond the beginning of September. Good luck – and let us know how you get on.