The clean-up operation after last week's flooding could result in an insurance bill of £200m for the grocery industry alone, experts have predicted.

The floods caused havoc for retailers, with a number of stores in the worst affected areas forced to close for up to two-and-a-half days.

A large supermarket could have lost up to £500,000 a day in trade, said one expert.

However, the severe weather opened up unexpected opportunities for some stores to get one over on the competition. Morrisons' Bramley store on Bawtry Road, Rotherham, was one of the few supermarkets in the town to escape the flooding, and reported trading as busy as the week before Christmas.

Other retailers took the opportunity to score some PR points. Asda delivered emergency packs to flood victims in the Rotherham and Hull areas, while a Co-op Group vehicle was used by police to distribute snacks to Sheffield residents temporarily stayiong in a Post Office depot.