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Will retailers be the winners of this World Cup?


Posted At: 20 June 2014 10:31 AM
Related Categories: General, Retail


The World Cup is now well underway in Brazil, with the big brand names in sport and beer particularly, making a lot of noise in order to capitalise on the nation’s love of football. However, retailers have been noticeably quieter… should they be doing more to capitalise on the event?

The tournament presents a huge opportunity for retailers to tap into the atmosphere and excitement of the nation and drive sales.

Analysts have estimated that fans will spend £400 million per England game, resulting in a predicted £2.58 billion boost to the economy if we reach the final, with food and drink, sports and technology leading the sales. Even if England don’t progress out of the group stage (which is not unlikely after last night’s game!), it’s predicted that football fans will keep spending as they follow the progress of the rest of the tournament. Already we have seen an impact: UK retail sales were up in May, helped by a 1.7% increase in household goods sales, which the Office for National Statistics (ONS) credited to a lift in sales of widescreen TVs ahead of the World Cup kicking off this month.

So why are retailers keeping quiet?

Retail Week has suggested that it’s because this year England fans have finally stopped hoping for any real success for England. And both results so far will have done nothing to change that!However, the opportunity presented by the event is not lost and those retailers who are agile and taking note of what’s happening down in South America, will be the ones who can take advantage of the nation’s mood. Those who are reactive and have a clear strategy for their reaction, utilising a multi-channel approach to capitalise on instant public reaction – for example, driving online sales through sharp social media activity – will be the ones who are the winners.

Also, while hope is almost lost for England fans, the cultural diversity of the UK means that there is still hope for retailers looking to capitalise on World Cup fever. Restaurants, bars and shops, particularly those in areas with significant international populations – like Bedford, which hit the news ahead of the England-Italy match because of its 20,000 Italian residents – should focus on the wider tournament in order to engage with all fans, rather than focusing on England and risk alienating other supporters, who could be the ones to ultimately bring in the most revenue.

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The opinions expressed herein are the personal opinion of the author and are not intended as statements of fact and do not represent the view of SnapShop or Pragma in any way.


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