What to do in Summer 2017

With school holidays now being upon us and big sporting events still to come – from the Athletics World Championships (4-13 of Aug), US Open (28 Aug-10 Sept), Cricket Test Matches (6 July – 11 Sept) and the Tour of Britain (3-10 Sept) – there are plenty of opportunities for retailers to help their customers enjoy the summer break.

Keep key categories such as crisps, beer, soft drinks, bagged snacks, ice-cream and pizza well stocked and always have the best-sellers available.  Tailor activity to ensure you’ve got something to suit everyone – think meal solutions for couples, multi-buy promotions for groups and family deals.  And don’t forget to flag everything up on social media!


Keep an eye on the weather

Picnics, BBQs and sporting occasions? Or will it be umbrellas and indoor activities?  A good retailer is a prepared retailer – know what your customers will be looking for and stock up accordingly.  It is worth having a backup plan in case of extreme weather conditions to avoid ‘out of stocks’ – additional freezers and fridges with an extra supply of products such as ice-cream, salads, chilled drinks and other items which are likely to be in high demand when the temperatures outside are soaring.   

Partners for Growth has a 10-day weather forecast so you can always keep up with predictions for your area.

Sizzling sales from barbecue extras

If barbecues and picnics are on the cards, make your store a one-stop shop for outdoor eating. Barbecue items need to be sited near each other and, besides the staples, think ketchup, salad dressings and mayonnaise

Ensure the best sellers are in stock but also consider stocking light alternatives, flavoured mayonnaise or new salad dressing combination. Smaller sizes and multi-buy deals will encourage trial. People are likely to be a bit out of practice with the barbie repertoire early in the year, so helpful suggestions and marinade recipes could boost sales.

They all scream for ice-cream

Well they do if they know you stock it. Ice-cream sales can rise by up to 400% in hot weather and, with school holidays and bank holidays thrown in, your profits could soar. 

Spring clean the freezer and keep it tidy, make sure it’s clearly visible in store and use bright on-street signage to draw customers in.

That weather forecast is crucial to your ordering so keep on top of it and source an extra supplier just in case of a heatwave. Check that your range has something for everyone – choc snacks and cones, refreshment, kids’ products and indulgence. 

A personal matter

Personal hygiene is a key area in hot weather, with sales of deodorants, face wipes and shower products all rising. People don’t want to run out of key items but they won’t necessarily assume you sell them, so making these clearly visible in store will boost sales. Use POS to highlight the fixture, or try clip strips or small display units.

Go for breadth of range rather than depth, but make sure it’s up to date and always stock the best-sellers. Shoppers trust big brands in this category. Merchandise the fixture clearly by type of product – washing, hair, deodorants etc – and keep it tidy, and include some for sensitive skin.

Pre-school planning

It always comes round quicker than you think but you do need to turn your attention to planning for the back-to-school period before summer’s over.

Lunchboxes will need packing and sandwiches are always a mainstay, so focus on bread, spreads and fillings.  Dressings and condiments such as mayonnaise, mustards and pickles are a good way to liven up a sandwich and are often forgotten on a main shop, so make sure these are visible and that you remind shoppers about these supplementary products.  Don’t forget about after school and lunchbox snacks either.  Healthy options will always be popular with busy parents and with an ever-expanding range of new products on the market, that is an easy way to provide some lunchbox inspirations.

Families getting back into the term-time routine will appreciate anything that makes evening catering easier so keep ‘meal for tonight’ front of mind. Try to merchandise all the elements of a meal next to each other – the meat, pasta, vegetables and sauce, for example – to boost basket spend, or use signage to direct customers. Plan a few meal deal promotions.