Jamie Oliver scores two and creates another on his debut for Manchester United, prompting comparisons with his successor as Sainsbury’s brand ambassador. “JO is a right pukka little tiger with more pace than Beckham ever had,” clucks Sir Alex Ferguson.
Responding to one of Mary Portas’ key recommendations, independent retailers send Valentine’s Day cards to every single shopper in the UK, pledging their lifelong admiration and a fumble in the stockroom to anyone buying more than a Crunchie.
Having saved the high street, Portas lands a cushy new gig as Kim Jong-un’s modernisation tsar, immediately proposing a string of artisan bakeries along the 38th Parallel.
As part of his Budget, the Chancellor unveils to great fanfare a new package of measures designed to cut red tape. However, industry figures are surprised to find the package is a child’s stationery gift set containing a small pair of scissors and a protractor.
BRC prophet of doom Stephen Robertson welcomes the move but adds that “some crayons would have been nice too” to help him colour in his economic collapse wallchart.
Malcolm Walker launches a surprise bid for Iceland (the country) after missing out on Iceland (the frozen retailer). He picks up the country’s creaking economic system for a round £1 and a pack of frozen spring rolls.
The warring colossi of Premier Foods and Tesco both find themselves in retrenchment mode. Tesco pulls out of the UK market to up its focus on profitable bits of the business like Bulgaria, while Premier goes one further and will concentrate on selling Mr Kipling cakes direct to pensioners from a delightful stall at the St Martin’s church fete in Ruislip.
Andrew Lansley clings on to his job just long enough to unveil Phase Two of the government’s Responsibility Deal: a poster campaign subtly suggesting overweight shoppers help combat Britain’s obesity problem by wearing billowing clothes that flatter their fuller figures.
Those diagnosed as being clinically large will receive a twice-yearly ‘nudge’ in the ribs from a junior civil servant to remind them of the benefits of elasticated waistbands. Lansley rules out the use of cattle prods, in a move both welcomed and simultaneously criticised by a conflicted health lobby.
Britain’s last remaining pub receives a much-needed boost from Euro 2012, when a ‘tired and emotional’ football fan wanders in asking for directions to the nearest supermarket so he can stock up on cut-price lager following England’s nail-biting 7-1 defeat to the Spanish second XI - and buys a pack of peanuts.
Fabio Capello subsequently quits as England manager to work full-time as one of the Dolmio puppets.
The Olympics begin on a controversial note when Irene Rosenfeld is picked to carry the torch on its final leg into the stadium.
Organisers deny the move is related to Kadbury’s sponsorship of the Games, but are left red-faced when Rosenfeld backtracks on assurances to MPs and redirects the symbolic flame to an Oreos factory somewhere in the Belgian hinterlands. Sixty British long jumpers are laid off as a result.
As rioting season rolls around, the multiples give more space to trainers and flatscreen TVs in a bid to lure in the ‘teen looter’ demographic.
“Supermarkets have identified these looters - or so-called ‘ABC shoppers’, as that’s the furthest they can usually get in the alphabet - as the fastest growing, and fastest running, type of consumer,” explains IGD chief acronym Joanne ‘JDF’ Denney-Finch.
In a bid to reverse sliding viewer figures, The X Factor is rebranded as The Yeo Factor, handing over its entire running time to high-profile dairy adverts. Nobody can tell the difference.
Tesco announces its latest crowd-pleasing initiative, dubbed the Big Pants Drop. Senior executives connect with shoppers by showing “the lot” to anyone spending more than £50 in-store. The drive proves a roaring success.
Speculators on the commodity markets drive the cost of pumpkins to unprecedented levels, forcing Brits to use butternut squashes, deformed carrots and the heads of jaundiced trick-or-treaters as Halloween lanterns.
Children whisper the awful tale of Woolworths and dare one another to visit the abandoned premises that, the stories say, once sold pick’n’mix and nudey calendars side-by-side to confused shoppers.
Buoyed by the success of adding vitamin D to its cereals to combat rickets, Kellogg’s plans to tackle other archaic illnesses.
Smelling salts are added to Special K to revive dieters suffering from the vapours, while a home trepanning kit comes free in boxes of Frosties to aid children possessed by evil spirits. That replaces bone fragments of the Catholic saints after a toddler chokes on St Jerome’s fourth metatarsal.
Shoppers panic-buy ahead of the apocalypse, due on 21 December according to Mayan prophecies. Essentials like Heston Blumenthal Christmas puds sell out fast, while fruit and veg sales are buoyed by consumers looking to win favour with deities by eating their five-a-Judgement-Day.
The BRC warns that the extermination of all life is likely to cause a slight dip in like-for-like sales.