Tournament disappointment turns to optimism as retailers expect footfall and trade to bounce back
England’s dismal World Cup may have depressed fans but general retailers now expect a boost to footfall. Many retailers suffered slower shopper traffic and sales growth during the tournament but are hopeful that trading will improve.
Beales chief executive Tony Brown said he had walked the shopfloor at his Bournemouth store during one England game and “it was completely dead”. He said: “I expect it will pick up now we’re out.”
HMV chief executive Simon Fox had planned for a World Cup drag on trade. He said: “The World Cup is not something we benefit from. People’s entertainment needs are met by what’s going on on TV.”
The impact of the contest was also evident at Halfords, which is understood to be launching its first ever summer Sale to coincide with the end of the World Cup.
KBC Peel Hunt analyst John Stevenson said: “For general retailers, the TV sales boost has largely run its course. Indeed, weekend footfall collapses, with leisure and retail spend being impacted, an impact that offsets the feel-good benefit of World Cup participation at the tills.”
Beales has marked down all its England stock by 41% - following the 4-1 defeat to Germany - and Marks & Spencer is discounting selected merchandise by up to 70%. M&S, tailor to England, insisted the squad’s exit should not undermine the appeal of its official suit.
Grocers have been among the biggest winners as consumers bought party food and drink. Food groups also stocked England general merchandise and are clearing the little that remains. A Tesco spokeswoman said: “Most of the non-food England stock was sold in the first two weeks of the tournament so we have very little left.”
Sainsbury’s sold 75,000 of the tournament’s vuvuzela horns.