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Anyone who lives in Edinburgh will tell you there’s nothing quite like August – love it or hate it – there’s no denying it’s a busy, vibrant time for the City. The Edinburgh Fringe Festival is after all the largest arts festival in the world “the single biggest celebration of arts and culture on the planet.” Last year the Scottish capital welcomed hundreds of thousands of people to see over 50,000 performances of nearly 4,000 shows. And for a retailer that means one thing – it’s time to trade!

A fortnight into this year’s fringe M&S stores in Edinburgh have been working hard and joining in the fun. There’s the store I manage (Princes Street), as well as Morningside and Ocean Terminal. Working collaboratively, we’ve strived to give our customers a great experience in store, from window displays that celebrate the fringe to making changes such as extending our food on the move section – pretty important given sandwich sales double during the festival. And it’s not just sandwiches - we see lots of our on the move products peak in popularity during August – in the last two weeks we’ve sold 1,000 tins of gin, 500 mini-Proseccos, and 4,000 of our deli products (all in 3 for £7).

But it’s not just marketing and trading – we’ve also been hosting performers at the front of our store, from Hello Georgie Goodbye Best to Jamie Bubbles – there’s been a real variety – and our customers and colleagues have been loving it! Alongside the performances we’ve also been putting on tastings – after all what goes better with some improvised comedy than Shortbread and Summer Punch. It’s a great way to show off to customers newness and also regionality – with so many visitors from around the world it’s a great opportunity to show off the best of Scotland.

As a business that prides ourselves on the innovation and specialness our “eating now” and “special occasion” products offer, big events such as the Fringe are an important part of the M&S calendar. This year’s been great and with two weeks days go here’s to even more fun at the Fringe.