Forecourt Trader - 30 years at the heart of the fuel retailing community

Tracy West: retail commentator

The first of the Bank Holidays hits later this month with Good Friday on March 30, followed closely by Easter Monday on April 2. The true meaning of Easter may have been forgotten by most people, but it still resonates with many thanks to those extra days off work for most, if not all, people.

And those people tend to use the occasion for family get-togethers think Easter Egg hunt in the back garden followed by a big roast on Easter Sunday. Lamb is the traditional roast of choice on this occasion but, if the weather is kind, many families opt for their first barbecue of the year.

Whatever happens, Easter can mean a rise in sales for retailers big and small. Those extra sales could come from hot cross buns for Good Friday, eggs and bacon for a full English (after all it is a holiday weekend!), meat and veg for that roast and, of course, chocolate. A lot of independents have given up on Easter eggs or don't stock the range they once did because of the cut-throat competition from the grocery multiples. However, it can work if you get it right. If you can source something a little different to the bog-standard eggs, you could be onto a winner. Plus there's always a market for last-minute purchases for those who've forgotten the eggs (or eaten them before they've given them away, in my case). Obviously you have to get the balance right and you know your businesses better than I do as you don't want to be left with loads of unsold chocolate.

Easter is a gifting occasion people going round for family get-togethers often arrive armed with flowers or wine. And there's still a small market for Easter cards. As ever with these occasions, it's all about making sure displays are prominent in-store to catch the shopper's eye. Then there's cross-merchandising, siting things that sell together in one place and, where you can't do that, putting up notices to prompt people to visit another part of the store. I know this stuff works for me. I've lost count of the number of times I've made an impulse purchase because a great display caught my eye or because a product was displayed near the till and I couldn't resist picking it up. Need never comes into it!

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Weekly retail fuel prices: 16 September 2019
RegionDieselLPGSuper ULUL
East Midlands131.7067.90141.05127.78
North East130.27143.10126.88
North West131.0561.90140.46127.66
Northern Ireland128.98134.61125.56
South East132.3555.20140.48128.43
South West131.4959.90138.93127.63
West Midlands131.2068.90139.66127.86
Yorkshire & Humber130.9084.90142.07127.66

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