At an IAA Academy In Action visit with Mondelez International in March, Vipul Panchmatia told Retail Express the area to the left of the door was causing him problems.

Top Tip – If you have an area in your store where nothing sells, turn it into something specialist to encourage customers to go there

“People were naturally pulled to the right into the rest of the store, meaning that whatever was in that area got neglected,” he says.

He decided that in order to make the most of the space he would have to opt for something specialist and began construction of an ice cream parlour to appeal to the families in the area. At the end of May he hosted a grand opening at the store. “We ran a wine tasting for the parents as well. We had such a busy day,” he says.

The parlour is visible from the window to encourage customers to come in and has 18 ice cream bays supplied by Kelly’s of Cornwall. It contains a mixture of traditional flavours as well as bubblegum, candyfloss and gingerbread to add a point of difference. “It’s become very popular,” he says.

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But you don’t need to renovate your store to make the most of ice cream sales. Our ice cream feature in the next issue is packed full of advice to make sure your sales stay strong whatever the weather. We also speak to five top retailers, including IAA award winner Adam Hogwood of Budgens of Broadstairs, Kent, about their plans.

Look out for our June 16 issue next week and go to p34 to find out more.