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Money spinners

Who knew that so many people wanted a car boot organiser or a large pet blanket or a car dash cam? Even though that's a bit of a rhetorical question, there is an answer and that is 'the pump-top promotion companies'. That's because these businesses have their fingers on the pulse of today's consumers' wants and needs. They're on the look out for the latest thing. Think Fidget Spinners whoever knew we needed such things? The answer to that is Asif Ayub, managing director at FastTrak, who says: "We introduced Fidget Spinners in April and they are our best seller this year; they've even eclipsed Loom Bands as a trend. We are still selling them and they are a steady seller but we are bringing out an icon version to coincide with the Emoji movie release and doing metal spinners throughout the summer."

product news: Wrigley extends Halloween range

This August, Wrigley is extending its seasonal range to five Halloween SKUs.

product news: Mondelez previews Christmas offer

This year Mondelez International has bigger plans than ever for Christmas with the return of the Milk Tray Man, a £10m spend for its Cadvent campaign, NPD in both chocolate and candy, and for the first time, it will offer Cadbury biscuits within its portfolio.

Homing in

For Hickson's Forecourt in Lincoln, sports events such as big football matches bring extra sales from people buying beer and snacks to consume while they watch the game at home. Assistant manager Alex Flodman says crates of beer containing 10 or 15 cans as well as sharing bags of crisps go down well with armchair fans.

Moveable feast

Every year, people ask 'When is Easter this year?", because it's never on the same weekend. In 2017, Easter Sunday falls on April 16, which is some three weeks later than this year. It's defined by the moon, with Easter being the first Sunday after the Paschal full moon, which is the first full moon on or after the spring equinox on March 21. This is why Easter Sunday can fall any time between March 22 and April 25. So now you know. It might not seem important but, according to Mintel research, the timing of Easter reflects spending and it's a case of the later the better. Spending on Easter products increased just 4% in 2016, rising from £530m to an estimated £550m. But Mintel anticipates stronger growth for gift sales in 2017 thanks to the event falling in mid April.

Deck the shelves

The media may be full of messages encouraging us to cut down on sugar but you can bet your life that most households will be tucking into their favourite tin of twistwrap chocolates this Christmas. At this time of year, go into any grocery multiple and you'll likely have to fight your way past the stacks of chocolates on sale for a fiver. It doesn't seem to matter how many they stock, they always seem to sell out. People buy them for Christmas but oftentimes eat them well before then, then have to buy more and may come to you looking for some.

Scare and share

Anyone shopping in Spar Battlefield's store in Shrewsbury on Monday October 31, is in for a shock as they're likely to be served by a ghost or a ghoul. That's because you'll find manager Marcus Burnley-Lowe and his staff dressed up in Halloween-themed costumes. They're keen to embrace anything that adds a bit of excitement in-store and, of course, Halloween lends itself well to in-store theatre. Last year, because Halloween fell on a Saturday, they spread the theme across the weekend. But this year, with Halloween on a Monday, it's likely they'll just dress up on that day. Last year Marcus dressed up as Star Wars' character Jango Fett; this year who knows what treat he'll have in-store for his customers?

Sunny sellers

Summer brings with it lots of sales opportunities from ice creams and ice-cold soft drinks, to sunglasses and barbecue briquettes. The latter two items can often be sourced from your car care supplier. Indeed Convenience Distribution Group (CDG) is currently running a promotion on Object Eyewear sunglasses. You can currently get 24 pairs of sunglasses for just £60 (which works out at £2.50 a pair) and a free six-peg display stand. The suggested selling price for the sunglasses is £4.99, so you make a very decent margin on them plus they are available on sale or return terms so if, for any reason, you don't sell them they will be uplifted and credited to your account in October.

Net more profits

The general media may be full of stories about the forthcoming EU in/out referendum, but the sports pages will be full of articles about another EU showdown the UEFA Euro 2016 tournament.

Merry making

Christmas truly is the season to be jolly because, according to Nielsen, it is the number one season that shoppers buy extra products for. And confectionery is the number one category specifically bought in convenience stores for Christmas.

Ghoulish gains

This year Halloween falls on a Saturday (October 31), which can mean only one thing that it's likely to be a bigger event than ever. You can expect families up and down the country to be carving pumpkins, going trick-or-treating and generally having a ghoulishly good time.

Tackle this

Rugby union's World Cup takes place through September and October with the added bonus for the nation's retailers of being co-hosted by England and Wales. Games will be played in 13 towns and cities with favourable live TV times, providing a double whammy of traffic lucky ticket holders on their way to and from games and armchair fans stocking for a big night, or in many cases, day in.

Bring on spring

With all your Christmas stock, staff and rotas sorted (hopefully), it's time to look ahead to the spring occasions Valentine's Day, Mother's Day and Easter. According to Mintel's Seasonal Shopping report from August, 68% of consumers spend money on Easter products and services; 64% spend on Mother's Day items; and 55% spend on stuff for Valentine's Day.

Make sure you score

You can expect a mad rush in your store on the night of Saturday June 14, as footie fans stock up in time for 11pm, and the kick-off of England's first game in the FIFA World Cup 2014. As part of Group D, they will be taking on Italy in Manaus.

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Weekly Fuel Prices 14 August 2017
RegionDieselLPGSuper ULUL
East117.78126.20116.58
East Midlands117.17126.70116.22
London117.7259.90127.04116.54
North East116.9560.90129.14116.15
North West117.36126.64116.53
Northern Ireland116.19122.90115.51
Scotland117.41124.99116.52
South East118.0359.90127.89116.96
South West117.7463.40125.47116.65
Wales117.10127.21116.19
West Midlands117.39126.42116.62
Yorkshire & Humber117.0267.40127.01116.21

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