2012 is the year of the triple Christmas and for some it may prove positive.
By the time Her Majesty received a vote of thanks from the Archbishop of Canterbury yesterday morning, the Jubilee was already becoming uncannily like Christmas. On Saturday, the Jubilee’s equivalent of Christmas Eve, it was hard to go anywhere without encountering expectant Union flag wavers. And on the big pageant day itself, those who were in London headed off to the Thames. For those beyond the Capital, the alternative was a three-hour TV fest as rain failed to dampen the spirits of Royal well-wishers and 1,000 boats made their way downriver.
By yesterday however, the feeling was not unlike Boxing Day. After being holed up for a couple of days, the British public seemed to head for the shops as collective celebration fatigue took hold. There may have been exceptions to this of course, not least the republicans outside St Paul’s Cathedral (although ironically, they were just as likely to have been busy finding ways not to mark the occasion).
But that was all then. The question is what’s next? The forthcoming Euro football thingy will probably pass as a minor blip for many - this one’s on foreign soil and we’re not expected to do well. The next cause for mass engagement is therefore likely to be next month’s Olympics.
For retailers the effect will probably be less polarised as this one extends over a couple of weeks and we’ve not be given time off to revel in the performances of Brit cyclists and boating types, much less stifle a yawn as Mr Bolt breaks another 100m record (or at least that’s the plan). Nonetheless, with four days for Easter, four for the Jubilee and Christmas itself, predicting how things will pan out 2012-wise if you’re a retailer is always going to be tricky.
This magazine splashed retailers’ hopes for a Jubilee inspired bonanza this week and for some this may have proved to be the case. It is just as likely however that the many indies who gambled on which day to open may have guessed wrong and things will not have been as positive as expected.
2012 is the year of the triple Christmas then and if you want to work out its effects, it will be hard to do so until early 2013. And even then, the irregular trading patterns we are currently in the middle of will make prognostication about 2013, based on the previous year, a difficult matter. Still at least it’s made us forget about Greece, Spain, the Euro and Chancellor Merkel for a few days. Normal(ish) service resumes today, for a few weeks anyway…