I always thought us Brits were world leaders in queuing and if there was ever an Olympic queuing event, we would easily take Gold. However, now I am wondering if we are becoming world leaders in scaremongering and panic buying.
The reason I say this is that with Easter around the corner, there have been reports that there will be shortages of Easter eggs and hot cross buns. But where I live, Sainsbury’s has aisles and aisles of eggs, while my local M&S has hot cross buns in every conceivable flavour.
I haven’t seen any of these goodies in local convenience and forecourt stores yet but the way the majors knock these products out at rock- bottom prices, I can understand why. Aside from price, there’s what to stock? It’s increasingly difficult to please everyone, especially when you read that 40% of shoppers are planning to ‘seek out healthier alternatives’ to chocolate eggs this year (GlobalData Retail). Healthier than a chocolate egg? Surely that’s a boiled or poached egg but obviously not if you’re a vegan!
Whether you decide to go all out on Easter eggs or not, you can (hopefully) expect a Bank Holiday bump in sales this Easter because according to GlobalData Retail’s Easter Intentions survey, Easter spending in the UK is forecast to rise by 4.2% this year to reach £1.7bn, which would exceed pre-pandemic levels. Obviously inflation is rampant and plays its part in that rise, but surely any spending is good for business? The survey found that 31% of consumers intended to spend time with family over Easter and that means entertaining, which could be anything from a cup of tea and a piece of cake to a big Sunday roast or a barbecue if the weather perks up.
Spending time with family has been a rare pastime over the past couple of years so you can bet that many people will take advantage of the occasion.
The local forecourt shop can help, firstly by advertising its Easter Sunday opening times – remember this is one of the very few days per year that the big stores have to shut and shoppers often get caught out by this.
So, where does Laura go when she’s just about to lay the table for the big family roast and realises she hasn’t got any mint sauce? The forecourt convenience store, of course. And the extra bottle of lemonade for all the kids who are coming round later? Or some charcoal for the impromptu barbecue, which is happening because the sun came out? Again, the local forecourt!