Posted by: Julie Collins
With less than 70 days to go now until the London Olympics, retailers will be hopeful that the combination of the Queen’s Jubilee (and a welcome additional bank holiday); the Euros and the Olympics will lead to an increase in consumer spending. Pub and restaurant operators will also be looking to the summer festivities to make up for what has been a soggy start to the early summer.
The key questions are whether, given all the hype, spend will increase, and who will benefit?
Undoubtedly grocery spend will increase as a result of Jubilee street parties, Olympics bbqs and football gatherings. Sainsbury’s and Waitrose are currently looking well placed to take advantage of this additional spend. Their recent form suggests that customers are happy with the service and quality provided, and many non-shoppers will see the summer celebrations as a perfect opportunity to trade up from Tesco, Asda and Morrisons. Whilst Tesco have replaced their ‘Tesco Value’ range with ‘Everyday Value’ and have brought back their Clubcard Exchange promotion, they have limited time to change their poor customer perception, and gain sales from their competitors.
John Lewis is likely to continue its run of form with strong sales of TVs and merchandise for both the Jubilee and the Olympics. The windows of John Lewis Oxford Street currently show a strong Cath Kidston / Emma Bridgwater focus and a key highlight on all things ‘Union Jack’. British retailers will benefit from the surge in patriotism associated with the summer events, for example, the ‘Corgi’ women’s tops in Next and the Jubilee tea cosy’s currently on sale in M&S.
Who will struggle to benefit from the ‘summer of fun’? Well, big ticket retailers are likely to continue to suffer. If grocery, TVs and Jubilee / Olympics merchandise spend are all set to increase, then spending elsewhere simply has to be squeezed with the economic climate as it is. With shoppers at Jubilee parties, watching the football or at the Games, spending on DIY or new sofa purchases will be less likely this summer.
Summer 2012 offers a number of retailers a real prospect to grow sales. Availability of products is imperative for supermarkets, and the weather will no doubt play its part in sales. Retailers at Westfield Stratford City have an amazing opportunity to convert visitor numbers into actual spend; appealing window displays and short queues will be fundamental for this. It remains to be seen how successful Team GB and England will be, but retailers will certainly be hoping for a golden summer.