The retail pulling power of the Olympic Torch Relay has been proved with one independent selling £6,000 worth of stock in just four hours and newspaper sales along the route have also surged, according to the latest issue of Independent Retail News.
Nathan Ganapathy, who runs a 1,000sq ft Best-one Express outlet in Bristol, generated three days of normal business in just a few hours.
Beer, sandwiches, pasties and crisps were the big sellers as crowds descended on the city centre outlet. “It was early in the evening, and it was nice and sunny, so office workers who had finished for the day waited around to watch. There were loads of people outside on both sides of the street.”
Ganapathy enlisted a couple of friends to provide security during the rush. “If you are busy selling things, you need others to keep an eye on security. I managed to do really well and not lose stuff stock-wise which is great.”
He is urging retailers along the route to make the most of the opportunity. “They must make sure they make proper arrangements in terms of stock and security so are ready for it. They also need plenty of back-up change – £1 coins and £5 notes – because otherwise it will slow down service. It is the little things you have to keep an eye on.”
Newstrade wholesaler Smiths News said retailers in the south-west of England along the route saw sales of newspapers rise. Its retailers in Gloucester enjoyed a 28% increase in regional press sales and in Taunton the rise was 12%. National newspapers have also enjoyed increases of almost 17% in Bristol and Brislington.
The company said retailers close to the route would now receive extra copies to meet demand. “An opportunity like this doesn’t come along every day and we are determined that all our customers see the benefits,” says Ken Ingham, publisher account manager.
Ken Ingham, publisher account manager at Smiths News, said: “The first week of the torch relay delivered an excellent set of sales results, so for the second week, in co-operation with both national and regional publishers we continued our approach of mapping the torch route and targeting additional supplies into the key towns and cities.
“As a result we have continued to see sales increase on the days the torch passed through our network, with week-on-week sales up 10% on average for some locations. It is fantastic to see that the buzz which the torch has created has continued to deliver such strong sales throughout the second week, and we will continue with our approach in order to maximise sales for all our customers.”
Sales highlights have included: Smiths News Aberystwyth Depot sales up 10.5% across all titles week-on-week on the morning after the torch reached Aberystwyth, regional Press gains of 19% in Aberystwyth and targeted retailers in Liverpool saw sales increase by 7% week-on-week.