Britons have ramped up sales of paddling pools and fans, retailers said, and are set to break a record for the amount of ice cream and popsicles purchased in one week as they prepare for possible record temperatures.
With ‘amber’ warning of sweltering heat across much of England and Wales on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, Tesco said it sold 14 times more paddling pools over the past week than the previous week, while sales of inflatables and water toys increased by 1,568%.
Tesco is also gearing up to sell more than 9 million frozen treats this week, as well as more than 900,000 packages of barbecue meat, two million packages of sausage, nearly three million cans of strawberries, and more than 5.5 million bottles of wine.
The grocer is also selling cherries at discount prices after rising temperatures led to an unexpected glut of British grown cherries.
Helen Sutton, director of buying ice cream and frozen desserts at Tesco, said: “As Brits try to cool off in the coming days, we expect record numbers of customers adding ice cream and popsicles to their carts – as well as barbecue favorites such as sausages and burgers.”
John Lewis reports that fan sales are up 256% from a year ago, while blackout curtains are up 193%.
Waitrose said sales of ice cream were up 20% from last week and sun care products were up 220%, while searches for canned cocktails on Waitrose.com were up 188% from last month.
Lakeland said sales of patio towers and a mosquito repellent machine were up 53% from last week as homeowners planned evenings out, and the retailer sold 20% more insulated cold bags.
“Customers flock to us for the best summer buys, from cooking outside to keeping bugs out, just in time for a heat wave,” said Rebecca Dudley, a purchaser in Lakeland.
Meanwhile, Londoners have been advised to download an app that allows users to know the nearest water refill station.
Refill’s map shows hundreds of public water fountains available in central London as well as thousands of locations in the capital including Costa Coffee, Greggs and Morrisons that have signed up to provide free drinking water.
Steve Hynd, Director of Policy at City to Sea, the charity behind the app, said: “With the UK warming up this weekend, it’s important for people to know where they can get free drinking water to stay hydrated and stay safe.
“Regular small sips of water will be essential because temperatures can rise above 30 degrees. The Refill app allows people to do this without buying expensive and contaminated single-use plastic water bottles.”