Palmer and Harvey is helping its Mace retailers engage with local communities and hopefully boost profits this summer with in-store sporting activity.

The stores are holding their own fun sporting activities, in which youngsters are challenged to spin a hula-hoop for as long as they can, with the longest time being awarded a prize.

General Mills, producers of top brands such as Nature Valley and Old El Paso, will also be offering Mace retailers the opportunity to win a fully equipped road bike. It will be offered to retailers who submit the best and most inventive photo of the Mace hula hoop challenge.

A spokesman at General Mills said: “By supplying this great prize we are acknowledging the fantastic work small retailers do to engage and supply the community, during the busy weeks ahead, it is these local shops who will continue to supply customers day in and day out.”

Rory Brick, head of symbol at Palmer and Harvey, says: “With sporting spirit at an all time high this summer we see this as an ideal time for Mace retailers to engage and have fun with their local communities and introduce themselves to new customers."

"Not only can shoppers rely on their local Mace store to stock up on the essential supplies while they cheer on Great Britain at home with family, they can also get great deals everyday on a wide range of items”