With World Cup Fever reaching boiling point as the semi-finals approach, its positive effect on the economy and the retail sector in particular should not be underestimated, even by those not following the England team’s fortunes.
The football tournament combined with unseasonably warm weather contributed to a 2.3% increase in retail sales in June, above the average growth rate for consumer spending and higher than the increase of 2% in the same month a year ago. Grocery sales were particularly strong in the final week of June due to sales of drinks as a result of both the weather and England’s continued success in Russia.
On-going retail success will depend largely on the efficiencies of retailers supply chains to deliver the goods required, some of which might not have been anticipated – the ‘Gareth Southgate effect’ is apparently already driving unforeseen demand for waistcoats.
If England reach the World Cup final it could generate £2.7bn to the economy with fans spending on food and drinks, TVs, sportswear and going out. According to data from the Centre for Retail Research (CRR) the UK has already benefited from extra spending of more than £1bn this year because of the World Cup. The CRR report says: “Every goal scored by an England footballer – right the way to the final – would be worth £165.3m to England’s retailers and an extra £33.2m to pubs, hotels and restaurants.”
Despite the underlying problems being experienced by many big name retailers currently it seems fair to say that football is bringing home at least a short-term improvement in economic outlook in certain retail sectors. Good reasons indeed to believe #itscominghome.