Coronation countdown

The convenience channel has plenty of opportunities to make the most of the special bank holiday

C-store retailers could benefit by stocking a range of party foods for the coronation. Picture: Shutterstock/JeniFoto
C-store retailers could benefit by stocking a range of party foods for the coronation. Picture: Shutterstock/JeniFoto

CONVENIENCE retailers, wholesalers and suppliers can all capitalise on the coronation of King Charles III next month, industry leaders reckon.

Luke McGarty, Scottish Grocers’ Federation head of policy and public affairs, said: “A coronation is a unique event and a wonderful opportunity for people to celebrate within their community, with family, friends and neighbours.

“Recent years have shown that our members are at the very heart of their local communities and that they have their fingers on the pulse of what customers need and want.

“The coronation is a great chance for our members to show their entrepreneurial flair once again in sourcing and stocking the range of products required to help people make the most of the occasion.

“Convenience retailers and staff will be working as hard as ever to ensure that everyone can access the goods and services they need locally while people enjoy the national holiday.”

Colin McLean, chief exec of Spar Scotland, said: “The coronation weekend of celebrations will bring thousands of communities together with Coronation Big Lunches, thousands of street parties, and a day dedicated to good causes that will bring communities together.

“We are looking to support this special weekend of events with a number of different activities. Community is in our heritage and the coronation weekend is a great way for us to encourage communities to come together and celebrate.”

McLean highlighted a Spar Scotland social media campaign asking people to nominate a local care home that would benefit from Spar vouchers to fund a coronation tea party and four care homes will each win £250 of vouchers.

He added: “In addition to this, we are stocking great value deals across all our Spar stores to help people host or attend street parties and volunteering sessions. We want to make it easy for everybody to join in and celebrate this historic occasion together.”

Chris Gallacher, managing director of United Wholesale (Scotland), described the coronation as “the big event” of the year.

He said it was important for wholesalers to support retailers so that they had the ability to highlight the event to bring the community together.

He advised that retailers could increase basket spend by using social media and attract new customers via competitions, NPD and promotions.

Princes offers Swizzels-brand drinks.
Princes offers Swizzels-brand drinks.

Gallacher said: “Events are becoming very important to c-stores not only to drive footfall but to give retailers the opportunity to get closer to their local communities.

“As the cost-of-living crisis continues to bite, it’s so important that both suppliers and wholesalers continue to get behind big national events.

“These give our symbol stores the opportunity to compete with the multiples and discounters, especially on NPD, promotions and POS that can create theatre in store.”

Given the popularity of the Platinum Jubilee last year, the coronation bank holiday weekend from Saturday, 6 May, to Monday, 8 May, is likely to see plenty of people getting together for at-home celebrations.

So stocking up on a variety of party foods, soft drinks and a range of alcohol that caters for celebratory drinks such as cocktails is an obvious strategy for c-store retailers, especially as many Scottish consumers will want to see what the weather is like before deciding exactly what to buy.

One potential trend to be aware of will be consumer desires to celebrate with brands that have a certain history.

David Boyle, head of commercial drinks at Princes, which has recently launched Swizzels-brand diluting juice variants, said: “Having first launched in 1928, Swizzels has cultivated a loyal following over the years and continues to be a stalwart within British confectionery.

“The British-born heritage and the feelings of nostalgia associated with the products may help brands when making the most of these opportunities.”