Half of UK retailers have admitted they are unprepared for the impact that the Olympic Games will have on their businesses, but a third expect a sales boost from it.
With a little over a year to go before the event begins, 52% of retailers have yet to assess the impact of London 2012 on their business and 44% of retailers admitted their preparations for next summer are behind plan, according to research from Deloitte.
Some 42% of retailers are worried about the risk of a security incident, while 38% fear transport disruption; 32% are concerned about the risk of staff unavailability, and 22% fear possible disruption to their supply chain.
Ian Geddes, UK head of retail at Deloitte, said: “London 2012 represents a very timely opportunity for most UK retailers.” However, he added it was a “concern” that most retailers were unprepared.
“Most retailers are heavily dependent on the ability of staff to be in a certain location and are vulnerable if there is any disruption in the supply chain,” said Geddes. “To capitalise on the opportunities and minimise disruption to their business, retailers need to prepare.”
In a West End Olympic conference hosted by New West End Company this week retailers were urged to extend daily trading hours, lobby for a temporary lift on the restricted trading hours that currently apply to Sundays, look for alternative delivery strategies and increase stock and staff levels during key periods.
More than a third of retailers expect the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games to deliver a boost to sales; 20% are planning longer trading hours, while 24% are considering increased stock levels.
However, 12% of retailers are concerned that the Games will actually result in a decrease in demand, the report found.
A report from the Games’ sponsor Visa found that retailers are set to rake in an extra £265m during the seven-week period over the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Supermarkets are expected to see an additional £79.9m boost while ‘high street retailers’, such as department and clothing stores, are set to benefit from an extra £184.7m.
Oversees visitors are expected to spend a total of £709m of the overall spending boost of £750m.