Peter Lamb discusses how he is using his forecourt to create summer excitement.
Summer time is always an enjoyable season for most people but it poses a real challenge for local shops. With customers schedules all over the place, there is none of the income certainty that exists in the non-holiday period.
At Lambs Larder we are fortunate in that we have a relatively large forecourt area and in the summer we use it to great advantage. We place tables and chairs outside with umbrellas to shade the customers as they consume coffee, tea, cold drinks and homemade cakes.
It creates a French café feel to the store that looks attractive from the road. We also have a picnic bench permanently installed next to the garden and the combination of the alfresco-style tables and chairs along with the picnic area is a genuine draw card during the summer months.
We also intend to bring additional trade this summer through the provision of a sausage sizzle on Saturdays. It is a great way to introduce customers to the superior taste of local produce and, in most cases, you will find they will return to purchase the same produce on a regular basis.
Summer would not be summer without ice creams and cold drinks and here, once again, we concentrate on local produce. In the case of ice cream, we stock Taywell gourmet varieties and these are a constant source of custom for us that only increases during the hotter weather. The same can be said for our Arena Gold apple juices, which are sourced locally and are a real hit with the customers.
While summer can be a challenging season, it also presents new opportunities for sales growth and we intend to grasp those opportunities with both hands.