Dave Chew Dave's C-store, Cheshunt

Says: The summer months are our best time because that's when people want cold drinks and ice creams and make more impulse purchases. People don't go to a big Tesco just for a Cornetto so put ice cream freezers in the window so people can see that you stock them.

Retailers should also make sure their confectionery and other products that can melt are cold by installing air conditioning. This is one of the most important things you can do in the summer, particularly when you've got many fridges pumping out heat.

I don't put chocolate in the fridge though, because if you only put some brands in, people expect you to put all of them in there. You also don't need to if you have air conditioning.

It's important that staff work in a comfortable environment as well as customers, who will spend more time browsing in a cool shop and probably buy more.

Always keep fridges stocked up with a variety of drinks that you rotate. You shouldn't wait until the morning to restock them because the drinks won't get cold enough. Customers come to us because they are always guaranteed cold drinks.

David Patient Nearbuys/Premier, Canvey Island

Says: I've learnt from experience that you shouldn't rely on your wholesaler to have soft drinks, beer and water in stock when it gets hot. Retailers are well advised to make sure they have always got plenty of key lines in at all times.

It's important because there is always a spike in sales during the summer on water and chilled beers and wines, particularly when people are being more active and having barbecues.

Aside from drinks, salads and charcoal sell well too so scale back lines that aren't as popular in the next few months such as tinned soup. Also make sure you look on the internet to check the weather regularly. I will go out and buy extra items when I see that it's going to be a nice day.

We make a particular point of having displays in the summer and we always have a theme, building on Booker's promotions.

This year it is 'Summer Sizzlers' and we have a window display, posters in the store and shelf strips - all with a beach theme designed for us to highlight special offers.

I think it's important to be proactive and make your shop stand out from the crowd.

John Ibbotson Retail Vision

Says: It's a good idea to make sure you have plenty of different soft drinks on offer, but not just Coca- Cola and carbonates, as shoppers want choice, including juices and smoothies.

One of my tips is to have plenty of chilled wine on offer because it is becoming more popular for parties and barbecues. This year it will be especially important to have enough cold rosé because sales are growing.

Getting the basics right is also essential. Make some space in the meat cabinet for a special barbecue area, which looks even better if it's branded and has some promotions. Check out the four-day weather forecast and, if the temperature is going up, make sure you're fully stocked up with barbecue food.

Charcoal, fire lighting fluid and briquettes are also must-haves that work well if they're at the front of the shop. Disposable tableware, such as cups and napkins are important too. Ice creams are big summer sellers and if you can, put a freezer cabinet near the tills for impulse purchases. Also increase the facings for bigger tubs of ice cream in the main freezer cabinet.