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    Be impulsive this Father’s Day

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    Before this Sunday, 16 June, comes the opportunity to merchandise for Dad, which can be easier and more creative than you might imagine

    It is always difficult to buy presents for Dad, whether it’s a birthday, Christmas or – possibly the trickiest of all – Father’s Day.

    But there are in fact many possible c-store categories that could well serve to satisfy the father of the household – even if indies do not traditionally sell socks and slippers.

    The celebration is an import from the USA, unlike Mother’s Day which began in Medieval Europe, and it always takes place on the third Sunday of June, which means this year it is on the 16th.

    Father’s day was conceived in 1909 and first celebrated, in just one American State, the following year. It was World War Two that established the day, with children missing their fathers fighting overseas sending cards and gifts, and then President Nixon eventually made it official in 1972 when he was attempting to be re-elected.

    Be impulsive this Father's Day

    There are three things to consider when merchandising for Father’s Day:

    1. You are not aiming at Dad buying something, but his family looking for a gift to please him. Dad, typically, might go for something practical, but his loved ones would rather get him a treat – something he would not usually reward himself with.
    2. Because indies do not sell socks and ties and golf novelties, as a rule, it is good to think in terms of impulse – where a wife, perhaps accompanied by the kids, realises late on Saturday that they badly need an item to be unwrapped the next morning. In other words, stock for impulse. Even if the purchase is not exactly the day before, inspiration and solution cemented by imaginative merchandising is the key to success.
    3. There are more categories than you realise:
    • Greetings cards and wrapping paper – especially paper with dad-associated imagery, which children will love to choose alongside a greetings that they can write themselves.
    • A good bottle of something – usually whisky, but negotiable, and there are ever more giftable bottles available.
    • Wine – wives approve of this on the principle of sharing, and the day is a good excuse to spend a bit more than usual.
    • Chocolates – ditto, and men are in truth more susceptible to self-treats of candy than the culture would like to admit.
    • Cigars – many blokes need an excuse to go out and spend £10 or more on a great cigar, but they will be tickled pink if they receive one (or more), or if the children wrap up a packet of panatellas or even cigarillos.
    • The BNI experience – there’s nothing a dad would like more than to gather the family around and enjoy a great movie with drinks and snacks – so why not put together a Father’s Day Special of soft drinks, crisps and peanuts and so on, and of course some very nice ales for himself to sup?

    Greetings cards and paraphernalia

    Be impulsive this Father's Day
    Father’s day greetings message vector sicker design.

    We are always stressing how fantastic greetings cards are for c-store, and with good reason. More often than not they are sale or return, so little outlay and along with that great margins. They also take up very little space if they are on a revolving stand, and you can easily re-stock for all the many celebrations and occasions that take place over the calendar year. Once your store becomes known for having a good selection, people will come to you instead of making a trip into town – getting the right card remains one of the most distressed purchasing expeditions: help the customer and they will thank you for it – especially of you can also sell them a stamp for the envelope. With Father’s Day it will probably be the kids choosing the design, so make sure you have some that appeal to childish tastes. In addition to paper (people will probably be more likely to buy something if they can see a way to package it nicely) decorations can also be good sellers – again, because they would appeal to a child’s eye

    In addition to being easily obtained by retailers, Riverside Greetings recently partnered with Ascona Retail, the UK’s fastest growing forecourt operator, to develop the greeting card business in each of its 62 retail sites.

    The greeting card market is growing and is currently worth £1.4 billion in the UK. Cards are increasing in popularity with younger shoppers who want to send and receive more tangible emotional expressions. A relatively high margin category but complex to manage which is why vendor managed operational models, such as Riverside Greetings, are increasingly popular amongst convenience and forecourt retailers.

    Be impulsive this Father's Day

    That bottle

    Speaking as a professional dad, it must be said that the most fool-proof and welcome gift on Planet Earth to receive is a good bottle of something (usually) amber-coloured.

    The choice is of course immense, but if you are looking for something a little special, then a fashionable liquor (last year we talked about hooch), such as tequila, much fancied for the Summer of ’24, a flavoured or bone-dry gin, or a brand that has an unusual provenance,

    would be an ideal stock item.

    A few bottles and brands that come to mind are those such as the recently arrived Indri Whisky, Red Bank Canadian Whisky, Aviator Gin from Ryan Reynolds, and now Teremana Tequila, a brand begun by Duane Johnson – all great to have in, alongside many others, of course.

    Be impulsive this Father's Day

    Red Bank comes from Canada’s Atlantic Coast, co-founded by Canadian actor, musician and whisky enthusiast Kiefer Sutherland, now officially launched and distributed, like Indri, by Mangrove Global, who seem to be vacuuming up the great new bottles into their portfolio.

    Carefully crafted by Master Blender Michel Marcil, Red Bank is a balance of rye, corn and wheat whiskies, with a nose of character and substance, including notes of oak spice, orchard fruit, allspice and caramel. It won Gold this year at the world-renowned San Francisco World Spirits Competition and is a perfect sip for Father’s Day.

    Be impulsive this Father's Day

    Indri Whisky (there are actually three editions) was created by India’s largest independent malt spirits producer, Piccadily. Launched (in India) in 2021 and then internationally in 2022, where it has already become a multi-award-winning spirit, landing multiple gold awards – including at the 2023 Tokyo Whisky and Spirits Competition and The Spirits Business Global World Whisky Masters. The Dru and Trini can be bought easily, while the Diwali batch is a bit gold-dusty (but so worthwhile if you can track down a bottle).

    “There is something really exciting about whiskies produced and aged in such extreme climates – the way the production processes are tweaked because of this produces flavours you can’t find anywhere else,” said Stef Holt, Curator of the Mangrove Whisky Portfolio. “Indri’s whiskies are very rich and complex with tropical fruit aromas and velvety texture.

    Be impulsive this Father's Day

    Teremana Tequila, meanwhile, the premium small-batch tequila founded by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and co-owned by Mast-Jägermeister, is set to launch right now, this June, just in time for Father’s Day (we hope!). With distribution being exclusively managed by Mast-Jägermeister UK, Teremana is available across UK off-trade venues and retailers.

    Be impulsive this Father's Day

    The name Teremana means “spirit of the earth”, coming from the Latin word “terra” meaning earth and the Polynesian word “Mana”, which loosely translates to spirit. Together, they embody a powerful force that inspires us to foster good energy, bring people together, and do the right thing – values exemplified by the brand’s founder Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson.

     “To now be able to ‘Share the Mana’ with the UK is a privilege and marks a new chapter for us in creating this legacy brand I envisioned,” says Dwayne Johnson. “The UK is a special place for me, and I can’t wait to ‘Share the Mana’ over many Teremana toasts in years to come.”

    Ryan Reynolds began the fashion for high-quality celebrity liquors with his Aviation Gin – an American, “prohibition”-style very dry distillation, several years ago, and it was hard to obtain for some time, although now widely available. And don’t forget Casamigos Tequila, George Clooney’s personal project that he eventually sold to Diageo for nearly $1 billion – it’s good, too.

    Sharing the love

    Be impulsive this Father's Day

    Wine, of course, is ubiquitous for all celebrations, but with Mum doing the buying for Dad in this department, the choice needs to reflect something she would like to partake of alongside the father of the household.

    Dark Horse got in contact with us to recommend their selection of perfect Father’s Day wines rich and red but not so heavy and masculine that they wouldn’t also be perfect with a partner.

    “This Father’s Day, honour the fatherly figure in your life with a sizzling summer BBQ complemented by a selection of delicious, versatile and great value red wines from California”, they said.   

    Be impulsive this Father's Day

    “There is no better way to cherish time together than over a delicious meal and a bottle of red. Reminisce about shared memories, enjoy laughable moments, and dream about the future whilst savouring a delightful red that is both affordable and delicious.”

    The affordability of these wines is fantastic. The Dark Horse Cabernet Sauvignon, a plummy, bold red with a hint of oak, is just £10. It has notes of plum and a smooth finish that pairs exceptionally well with chargrilled lamb skewers, grilled vegetables or spicy potato wedges.

    A different choice, Apothic, is a smooth red wine blend that offers a tantalising texture and rich layers, with much to enjoy. Leading the way in Zinfandel, with deep dark fruit notes and subtle hints of spice. Notes of blueberries and blackberries are brought to the bottle by the seductive Syrah, while its bold and beautiful structure comes from Merlot. Here there are also black cherry and plum aromas – followed by layers of blackcurrant from Cabernet Sauvignon.

    Be impulsive this Father's Day

    Another Californian red wine duo to think about is Carnivor Zinfandel, £10.50, layered with notes of dark cherry, blackberry jam, and perfectly toasted oak, layered with notes of dark cherry, blackberry jam, and perfectly toasted oak. This ripe and juicy Zinfandel has been specially created to compliment your choice of red meat, such as a gourmet grilled steak or flame-grilled burgers.  

    If the family bottle buyer fancies something a little lighter, then Mark West Pinot Noir at £12.00 might just hit the spot. Mark West Winery has been devoted to perfecting one varietal, Pinot Noir, since 1978. Grapes are sourced from premier regions of California where cooler evenings produce grapes with intense fruit aromatics and flavours. The Pinot Noir offers delightful aromas of black cherry, strawberry and plum. Medium in body with soft tannins, this wine pairs perfectly with grilled salmon and roasted pork tenderloin.

    So there’s a few to thinks about stocking – nothing says summer better than a bit of California, after all.

    Be impulsive this Father's Day

    Together with some sophisticated snacks such as the finest crisps available – Golden Wonder comes to mind – or even some pork scratchings from Mr Porky, will make Father’s Day end perfectly.

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