One of the biggest events in the retail calendar will soon be upon us, but with the mults driving all of the value out of the market, is there anything left for convenience stores?
Five years ago I would buy 30 dozen shell eggs from my wholesaler, now I’ll order around two or three dozen. There used to be a steady sales opportunity but really since Woolworths went out of business and the supermarkets starting selling eggs for £1 the market for shell eggs in convenience has pretty much been killed. It’s more about the novelty lines now. I have no aspiration to fill shelves with shell eggs, but I’ll take in novelty lines, filled eggs. We can do very well on small pieces.
McLeish’s of Inverurie
We do get a sales boost from Easter but none of it comes from shell eggs. I don’t even stock them; there’s no point. We’ve had them in before. I remember the first year I opened going big on Easter and getting my fingers burnt. I scaled back in year two and three and then stopped altogether. Where we make our money is on the filled eggs. I’ve got a full gondola end just full of Creme eggs, Mini Eggs, Malteasters, those sorts of products.
It’s not as profitable as it once was; we used to see a huge uplift over Easter but Halloween is a much bigger event these days. We still sell a selection of shell eggs but they move slowly until the couple of days before Easter Sunday when the supermarkets have run out. Thankfully we have some very loyal customers who have been buying their eggs from us for 20 years! We also do well from the impulse and novelty lines and new products tend to pique the curiosity of shoppers, like the Egg ‘n’ Spoon.
We do all the small novelty lines and they sell consistently from the start of the year, but even creme eggs won’t sell in the volume they used to. We’re probably down two-thirds on shell eggs – you just can’t compete with supermarkets. So we don’t try to. This year I’ll probably go through 500 shell eggs, but that order used to be well into the thousands. It’s gone downhill since Woolworths closed. Since then the supermarkets have had so much power over suppliers.