Euro 2004 represents a massive sales opportunity, in spite of England’s shaky start against France, and Deepak Patel has been gearing up to ensure he can cash in.
“Everyone in our business is buying loads of beer,” says Patel, who runs three busy c-stores in Clacton-on-Sea.
“I’m expecting sales to double this week and I’m also doing linked deals on wine and snacks. But the weather also has a lot to do with it.
“On beer, I’m pushing eight, 12, and 24 packs. There’s no point going for four-packs or singles. The Carlsberg rep is good - you can get good deals on pallets.”
Patel entered into the spirit of Independents’ Day on June 1, putting up point-of-sale material in all three of his stores. While awareness is obviously low at the moment, he says, it will build momentum over time.
He has also been investing in CCTV equipment that links straight into a PC, rather than having to load the footage onto
video - a tiresome and time consuming process.
Service from wholesaler Booker is still patchy, with promotional lines not always turning up - particularly frustrating when deals have been set up on his system and shelf space allocated, says Patel. “I’ve been approached by Budgens and I think they have a great concept for c-stores with a particularly strong fresh and chilled offer. So I’m going to consider that option.”
Franchising - something he has been thinking about for some time, is still an option, he adds. “I know there are bigger names out there, but having local knowledge and expertise counts for so much.
“There is a lot of mileage in this.”