By Maximilian Clarke

The weekend’s extreme weather has elicited an equally unusual reaction from consumers, who flocked to the UK’s supermarkets in a last-ditch attempt to enjoy some sunshine.

Tesco reported record 2011 sales of BBQ foods, selling 550,000 burgers and some 3.5 million sausages over the weekend.

“Brits are famous for their love of barbecues and a lot of people will be in their gardens determined to make up for the lack of sunshine over the last few months,” said Tesco’s senior meat and fish customer manager.

LINK, owners of a 41,000 strong UK-wide network of ATMs reported the year’s biggest withdrawal on a single weekend. UK consumers, eager to enjoy the weekend at all costs, pulled more than £577 million from the machines- equivalent to some £14,000 per machine.

“The good weather really seems to have encouraged people to withdraw cash in preparation for increased spending over an unusually sunny weekend — confirmation that the right combination of feel good factors can boost short term spending and that cash is a very popular way of paying for these kinds of goods and services,” said John Howells, LINK Chief Executive.

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