Sven does well England football manager Sven Goran Eriksson will be the darling of the independent trade if David Beckham and his team perform well in next month's World Cup. That became clear from a straw poll among The Grocer 4 Independents readers this week. Independents believe the early viewing times in the UK might have an adverse effect on sales, but all those questioned were emphatic that the longer England remains in the competition, the better it will be for business. Not everyone questioned believed that football mania would grip the UK, but there was a consensus that more than a month of televised soccer, coupled with the Queen's Jubilee celebrations, will set tills jingling, particularly so if the weather is good. Norman Grant, who owns a convenience store at Hindley Green, near Wigan, Greater Manchester, said he runs year-round promotions, but added: "We shall be stepping up our beer offer to shoppers, but we will be relying on some good deals from the cash and carries." Grant said he had already mounted display material telling customers that his store could provide them with their party needs. He added: "It all depends on how England perform. Past football events have shown that the longer we stay in the tournament the better it is for business. It will be no different this summer." Grant said the Jubilee bank holiday could be good for business, but he believed it would all depend on the weather and what the superstores are doing. Jag Bhullar runs two stores in Huddersfield, one under the Londis fascia and the other as a Premier outlet. He will be putting a lot of promotional support behind the World Cup, although he will concentrate his efforts almost entirely on beer. He said: "We shall support all the offers. We know that Carling are offering footballs, T-shirts and caps and I believe the football fans will go for this one. Bhullar felt the combination of World Cup and Queen's Jubilee will give independents a tremendous opportunity to boost local trade, although he doubted that too many people would be ready to sup beer as early as 7am when a lot of the matches kick off. He tipped France to win the tournament. Costcutter retailer Paul Cooke, who owns a c-store at Tankerton, near Whitstable, Kent, was one of many who believed that sales would be linked to England's performance, but he didn't feel that this year's World Cup would have the same impact as France '98 because of early viewing times in the UK. He said: "I may be reading it wrong but I don't think the World Cup is the massive opportunity that many think it will be although, coupled with the Jubilee celebrations, it could be a prosperous trading time for the independent sector." Cooke tipped Argentina to win the tournament, but added hastily: "I would love England to win. But history shows European countries don't win the World Cup when it is played outside Europe, so I'm going for the South Americans." {{GROCER CLUB }}