×
99 116
Fashion Jobs
ROSS STORES
Store Protection Specialist
Permanent · Houston
TJ MAXX
lp Detective
Permanent · Homestead
TJ MAXX
70118-Loss Prevention Detective, Newbury st, Boston, ma
Permanent · Boston
HOMEGOODS
lp Detective
Permanent · Frederick
TJ MAXX
70118-Loss Preventon Detective, Downtown Boston, ma
Permanent · Boston
KOHLS
Full-Time Sales Supervisor - Softlines
Permanent · Chattanooga
KOHLS
Full-Time Sales Supervisor - Softlines
Permanent · Norman
MACY'S
Asset Protection Detective, Bridgewater Commons - Full Time
Permanent · Bridgewater Township
MACY'S
Asset Protection Security Guard, Presidential Markets - Full Time
Permanent · Snellville
MACY'S
Asset Protection Detective, Santa Ana Mainplace - Part Time
Permanent · Santa Ana
MACY'S
Asset Protection Detective, Reno Meadowwood - Full Time
Permanent · Reno
MACY'S
Asset Protection Detective, Topanga - Part Time
Permanent · Los Angeles
BLOOMINGDALE'S
Asset Protection Outlet Supervisor, Outlets at Orange - Full Time
Permanent · Orange
BLOOMINGDALE'S
Asset Protection Visual Security Officer, Roosevelt Field - Part Time
Permanent · Garden City
ULTA BEAUTY, INC.
Retail Sales Manager
Permanent · Palmdale
KOHLS
Full-Time Loss Prevention Officer
Permanent · Pleasant Hill
KOHLS
Human Resources Generalist - Logistics
Permanent · DeSoto
KOHLS
Full-Time Sales Supervisor - Softlines
Permanent · West Des Moines
COTY
sr. Manager, Ecommerce Trade Mkting
Permanent · Los Angeles
COTY
Manager, Ecommerce Trade Mkting
Permanent · Los Angeles
COTY
Manager, Ecommerce Independents
Permanent · Los Angeles
GAP
Design Director - Women's Concept
Permanent · New York
By
Reuters
Published
Jul 3, 2012
Reading time
4 minutes
Share
Download
Download the article
Print
Click here to print
Text size
aA+ aA-

Britain's retailers may not strike gold

By
Reuters
Published
Jul 3, 2012

Any British retailers banking on the London Olympics persuading consumers to spend freely again could be left disappointed.


Photo: Pixel Formula


Earlier this year several major stores groups, including Marks & Spencer, J Sainsbury and John Lewis earmarked the first Olympics on UK soil for 64 years as a major opportunity for a fillip to sales.

Yet the financial stresses of recession, coupled with an absence of public holidays and unhelpful weather patterns, mean any boost may be muted.

"I don't think it will bring much (of a boost)," said Neil Saunders, managing director of retail consultancy Conlumino, arguing the impact will be much less than provided by Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee in early June, mainly because no public holidays fall within the July 27 to August 12 period of the Games.

"The Jubilee was very much about the fact people had an extra day off. A lot of people used that day to celebrate with family and friends and that has a very tangible effect on food sales, because a large part of the celebration is eating and drinking," said Saunders.

"The Olympics isn't like that really. Whilst people will take a passing interest, I don't think it's the type of event that will effect consumption habits."

For many major retailers, the London Games, along with the Jubilee and the Euro 2012 soccer championships, provided a glimmer of hope that recession-weary consumers would be encouraged into a more positive frame of mind.

What's more, the Olympic effect could be magnified by the suspension of rules restricting shopping hours on Sundays, in an attempt to help retailers make the most of the quadrennial event.

CLEAR WINNERS

Last week Visa Europe, a Games sponsor, forecast an 800 million pounds ($1.3 billion) uplift in consumer spending over the seven-week period spanning the Olympics and Paralympics.

"Most retailers will benefit," said Steve Perry, the firm's chief commercial officer, who anticipated an uplift of more than 2.5 billion pounds by 2015.

Obvious winners will be those retailers selling Olympic- themed merchandise and those directly associated with the Games such as John Lewis, official department store provider to London 2012. "We're nothing but positive about it," said Andrew Murphy, retail director at the employee-owned chain.

"When you engage with the Olympic footfall numbers and particularly if you are a sponsor business, the multiples for the four weeks around the Olympics are really phenomenal, almost scarily so, based on previous Olympics," he said.

Supermarkets' sales could get a lift if Britons celebrate the Games with barbecues and parties and splash out on meat, salads, beer and wine.

And with the Games expected to provoke a rise in sports participation, sporting goods retailers Sports Direct, JJB Sports and JD Sports Fashion are pretty much guaranteed to benefit both in the short and long term.

Also retailers with stores at Stratford City, Europe's biggest urban shopping centre which lies on the edge of the Olympic site, should get a boost, given that Australian developer Westfield reckons about 70 percent of the Games' estimated 10 million visitors will pass through it.

Yet with Britain's economy mired in recession and consumers holding back spending because of meagre wage increases and government austerity measures, the potential boost to spending from the Games may have been exaggerated.

LESS SHOPPING

While the Jubilee looks to have provided grocers with a decent sales boost, some analysts reckon the lift from the four-day holiday weekend at the beginning of June did not reach anticipated heights as heavy rain put a damper on celebrations.

Simon Wolfson, chief executive of Next Plc, Britain's second-biggest fashion retailer, is cautious.

"On the one hand it will be a great boost for Britain, there will be lots of tourists, but they'll mainly be in the southeast. On the other hand, there's a possibility people may spend less time shopping and more time watching the TV," Wolfson said.

There is also the prospect that an influx of foreign tourists will be offset by Londoners exiting the capital, escaping the risk of transport disruption.

Some analysts reckon a far more important factor in driving retail sales growth this summer would be some better weather, noting last year's good spring weather, coinciding with a royal wedding, significantly buoyed retail sales.

"If retailers could choose good weather or an Olympics I think they'd choose the good weather, because they would know that that would have a much more tangible effect on their sales," said Conlumino's Saunders.

But after the wettest April and June on record and forecasts of more unsettled conditions in July and August, retailers would be foolish to count on any improvement.

And as far as the wider impact of the Games on the UK economy is concerned, many economists reckon they will provide only a temporary boost to growth before their impact fades.

As Nick Moon, managing director of GfK NOP Social Research, noted: "The stagnant level of consumer confidence suggests that the public is stuck in a period of constant depression."

© Thomson Reuters 2021 All rights reserved.