Summer of sport and sunshine bodes well

Antony Begley

You know what it’s like. With a World Cup or an Olympics on the horizon, we always tend to get ourselves worked up about how sales might be on fire off the back of it. All too often, however, all the excitement fails to translate into the monster sales we were hoping for. This year feels different though.

Obviously we’re still benefitting from the hangover of the whole Covid fiasco plus, for the first time in living memory, Scotland were actually at a major footballing tournament. What’s more, we managed to get drawn against England – and we even managed a draw against England. Then we had the agony and the ecstasy (depending upon your own personal opinion) of watching England getting better and better, even beating Germany, before falling at the final hurdle. Football didn’t quite make it home, but it certainly helped bring customers through the doors of convenience stores.

Throw in a period of unusually sustained beautiful weather and the relaxation of Covid restrictions and we have the perfect storm for retailers and the scene is all set for another bumper summer, even with enormous availability issues.

Alongside we’ve got (or have had) the Lions Tour of South Africa, Wimbledon, major golf tournaments and now the Olympics. And even domestic football is kicking back into action, as well as European football. In other words, there are plenty of reasons for customers to want to stock up and sit in front of the telly with their friends and family and over-indulge for a little while – and who can hold that against them?

Visiting the pub remains a huge challenge and more effort than it’s worth for many, so all local retailers can do is help make sure shoppers get all that they need and more, and help get the country back on its feet with a smile on its face and a drink in its hand.

The availability issues are certain to get worse before they get better, but local retailers have proven themselves infinitely more flexible and creative than their supermarket cousins when availability issues strike, as we witnessed last year. So let’s hope this is another two- or three-month window for local retailers to cash in on being there for their communities in good times and in bad.

May the sun shine, may the force be with you and may the remainder of the summer be a belter.

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Antony Begley, Publishing Director