Shopping habits of Norfolk and Suffolk holidaymakers revealed by Central England Co-op

Central England Co-op has revealed what holidaymakers pop into their shopping baskets as they enjoy their summer holidays on the Norfolk and Suffolk coastline.

The retailer has shone a light on customer shopping habits during peak summer months all the way from Wells-next-the-Sea to Kirkley in Lowestoft.

Research carried out by Central England Co-op shows that stores in tourist areas see on average a 40% sales uplift during the summer period.

Unsurprisingly, the research shows that ice creams are among the big sellers at the retailer’s coastal stores, while strawberries, cucumber, bananas, milk and bread are routinely the most popular items.

The research also highlights differences between locations – for example sausage rolls are a big seller in Lowestoft, while salmon fillets appear particularly popular in Cromer.

The month of August is the busiest time in these areas as visitors flock to enjoy the British summertime and with more and more people choosing to holiday in the UK, Central England Co-op’s coastal stores are ready to help them have an amazing holiday.

Mark Dixon, Store Manager at Wells-next-the-Sea, said: “As soon as the school summer holidays start we see a big uplift and the end of July and August are very busy times for us.

“This year the products that have been particularly popular have been summer fruits and salad, soft drinks, ice creams and anything picnic related as people head to the beach.

“We also stock items to help people enjoy their day at the beach, with items such as beach mats, wind breakers, beach toys and balls which are always popular.

“However our busiest period of the day is between 4pm and 8pm as people come in off the beach and pick up their tea – that period is non-stop and we take more sales during that time than the entire rest of the day.

“We pride ourselves on knowing our customers, many who come back every year, and having what they need and want in stock to make sure their time away in the glorious locations we have in this part of the world runs as smoothly as possible.”

Tanya Allen, Manager at Central England Co-op’s store just yards from the seafront in Kirkley, Lowestoft, said food-on-the-go items were also particularly popular at her store during the summer holidays.

She said: “We get busy as soon as the six week holidays start at the end of July and it is constant all the way through to the end of the holidays.

“Cold drinks, sandwiches and snacks are the products we see a particularly big uplift in, as well as ice creams, ice lollies and bags of ice when the sun is shining.

“We see a lot of holidaymakers coming in off the beach so we make sure we stock up with lots of water and soft drinks to meet their needs.

“So if anyone needs a little extra holiday treat or to top up their supplies while on their break, we cannot wait to see them and provide great service and great deals to help them enjoy an amazing holiday.”

Customers looking to pick up any last-minute items or treats while holidaying on the Norfolk and Suffolk coastline can visit:

  • Burgh Road, Bradwell
  • Middlebrook Way, Cromer
  • London Road South, Kirkley
  • Jubilee Buildings, Pakefield
  • Polka Road, Wells-next-the-Sea

Keep up-to-date with the latest food and drink offers during the summer by visiting


Notes to editors

About Central England Co-operative

Central England Co-operative is one of the largest independent retail co-operative societies in the UK. 

It is a modern, forward-looking organisation employing over 8,000 staff, with the Society’s principal areas of activity being food, funeral services, travel shops, and property investment.

Central England Co-operative has over 400 trading outlets across 16 counties including; West Midlands, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Rutland, Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire.  The Society has an ambitious food store development programme for 2019.

Central England Co-operative is proud of its reputation for ethical business practices and corporate responsibility.  It is a member of Business in the Community, the membership organisation that stands for responsible business, and has also won many business awards for excellence.  The Society supports a number of charities including Dementia UK and invests a percentage of its trading profit into local communities.

Becoming a member of Central England Co-operative offers a whole host of benefits ranging from collecting points every time you spend in store to earn a share of the profits, access to members activities and community initiatives including the Community Dividend Fund, which hands out grants of up to £5,000 to charities and good causes across the Society’s trading estate.

Find out how to become a Central England Co-operative member by calling 0800 0501 601, emailing or visiting

For more information visit, follow Central England Co-operative on Twitter: @mycoopfood, and on Facebook:

Rob Smyth and James Brindle at Central England Co-operative on 01543 421390

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