World Cup and scorching sunshine bring huge retail boost

A prolonged period of hot weather and England’s success at the World Cup have given retail sales a multi-million pound boost.

The combined sunshine and soccer feelgood factor led to shoppers spending £358 million more this year than they did at the same time in 2017, according to global analytics company Nielsen.

Products for entertaining saw a spike during World Cup month, as many Brits chose to take advantage of the warm weather and host match-viewing parties. Matches & lighters saw the greatest percentage growth during this period, with a 39.2% uplift. Beer and cider sales were up 28.8%, frozen desserts up 25.9% and soft drinks up 16.8%.

The second week of the tournament saw the highest uplift in total sales (57%), aligning with the spike in the heatwave.

In the final week of the tournament, when it became clear that football wasn’t coming home after all, growth slowed to a mere £84m. Over the course of this year’s entire tournament, the categories of frozen vegetables, frozen fish, biscuits and hot beverages saw no significant increase at all, as shoppers tend to abandon their weekly habits and instead choose to overindulge – similar to the pattern that occurs around Christmas, according to Nielsen.

“Looking ahead to the next World Cup in 2022, the recipe for early summer success will be hard to replicate as host nation Qatar has announced the tournament will be played in November and December,” says a spokesman for Nielsen. “Given that Christmas spirit can bring the English together in similar ways, it’s possible that we will be toasting England’s successes through the tournament with mulled cider, hot squash and mince pies. It’s clear from this data that retailers and advertisers alike should bear in mind how England’s performance in flagship tournaments like the World Cup affects consumer mindset and behaviour.”

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