What to do this Autumn
School’s back! And, as the kids return, students head off to university and normal working life resumes, it’s time to review your store. Autumn’s menu includes cooler weather, a resurgence in lunchboxes, easy evening meals, indoor social occasions and you need to adjust your store’s offerings accordingly.
Eye on the weather
Firstly, though, September can be a very sunny month and sunshine sells more ice cream – up to 400% more! Keep your eye on the weather forecast and follow some key tips to boost your sales.
Don’t forget, even when the weather does cool, ice cream is a year-round treat. Add some tubs to your cabinet and consider including ice cream in meal deals.
- Tell people you sell ice cream – use pavement or window signage to draw customers in
- Stock the best-sellers. Check out our category advice and planograms, which are supported by robust, independent national sales data
- Keep the cabinet clean and presentable
Sneaky snack pots
Hot snack options look increasingly tempting as the weather cools, and stores near colleges and universities or with a strong lunchtime trade, benefit particularly. Around 58% of Pot Snacks are eaten at lunchtime and 82% bought on impulse.
Check the Pot Snacks best sellers though, as these account for a massive proportion of the market, and prompt sales by putting pot snacks close to other impulse categories such as confectionery and crisps. If possible, offer hot water and forks.
Keep it simple
At 4pm on any given day, 70% of shoppers don't know what they are going to have for dinner and helping them make their minds up can pay dividends.
Think about the end meal, rather than the individual products and position cooking sauces near meat, vegetables etc – they are such a simple way to pull together a meal and can really help you cash in. Offer recipe ideas to prompt extra sales and think about meal deals.
Cosy nights in
Box sets and on-demand screen services are increasingly popular so the Big Night In offers big opportunities for c-stores.
A special ‘big night in’ fixture is a good idea. Include crisps, drinks, pot snacks, ice cream and pizza. Think about multi-buys and cross-category deals targeting different audiences – men, couples, groups of friends, families and ‘treat for myself’ – and flag them up through signage in store and use social media.
Nowadays, Diwali, Halloween and Bonfire Night make autumn a season of social occasions.
Themed activities could increase the feelgood community factor, and should also boost sales. Think about a Halloween costume competition before children go out trick-or-treating or a brownie baking contest for Bonfire Night. Highlighted via social media, these would bring families to the store and give you the opportunity to offer ‘meal deals’ to parents, as well as party food and trick or treat snacks.
A special ‘autumn festival’ fixture is worth thinking about. It needs sweets, snacks and meal deals, as well as hot beverages and mulled wine spices to add the warming factor to outdoor celebrations, and condiments for the Bonfire Night sausages and burgers.
Ketchup and mustard are key here, but barbecue sauces, mayonnaise, salad dressings and smaller pack sizes of different flavours provide inspiration. Brands are really important – customers will go elsewhere if they can’t see their familiar favourites, and make sure you’re up-to-date on the Table Sauces bestsellers.
Santa’s on his way…
Roll out your seasonal range in good time. Convenience stores benefit from shoppers’ last-minute Christmas purchases but they can also do well by encouraging top up on essentials and seasonal extras. Big brands are key. A few early Christmas deals help customers spread the cost so shout about these via social media.