Are you considering a spring clean this year? It is, of course, highly recommended ­ how could it not be? Any time is a good time to take a fresh look at your business but bear in mind that, with the lighter mornings and evenings, some sun well-crossed) and warmth, more people will be on the streets and your storefront will be more visible. Just hop across the road and have a look at it. The punters will not come in if it fails to look inviting. If you are already a member of a symbol group you will be well aware of the exhortations from head office or wholesaler to smarten up your act, improve your offering and yes, spend quite a lot of money. They can prove that it is worth it. They have filing cabinets full of case studies that show that refits and relaunches of stores always improve the bottom line, so the investment really does pay off. If you're an unaffiliated independent you may also b e well aware that you need to do something, but don t know where to start? What I would advise at this time of year is that you attend a retailing show and have a good look before you leap. The coming month kicks off the exhibition season. The Convenience Retailing Show runs from March 17-20 at the NEC with the annual conference of the Association of Convenience Stores (a notable exception to most associations in that it actually does have teeth) running alongside it. Also under the same roof will be this magazine's Food & Drink Expo, Food & Bake and Foodex Meatex. Best of all, it's all free and you can save yourself any fiddle by pre-registering (ring 0870 429 4664). I was talking to a Londis retailer the other day who faithfully attends his symbol group's show (they run in April, call 01959 575951 for details). His main reason was simple. The deals. He came away with £1,000 of free stock from the manufacturers exhibiting. "That's 100% pure profit," he pointed out, adding that, while he was there, he always got a few new ideas as well. Not bad for a busman's holiday. {{GROCER CLUB }}