Thursday 9th August 2012, 13:39 London
Olympics has positive retail impact
Despite doubts over whether the Olympics would have an impact on retail sales, supermarkets are reporting positive sales uplifts
Despite doubts over whether the Olympics would have much of an impact on the country's retail sales, UK supermarkets are reporting positive sales uplifts since the Games started last week.
UK food sales were up 0.1 per cent in July on a like-for-like basis compared to 2011, with British Retail Consortium (BRC) director general Stephen Robertson admitting: “July was clearly not a golden month for retail.”
However, Waitrose reported a 48 per cent increase in sales of salad leading up to the first weekend of the Games, while Marks & Spencer (M&S) claimed Andy Murray’s gold medal tennis success once again helped increase strawberry sales following a Wimbledon boost last month.
A spokesperson said: “As Britain united to cheer on Andy Murray towards Olympic gold, strawberry sales were up 45 per cent in our stores.”
Good Natured, which supplies salads to many of the major retailers, has seen salad sales increase, with account manager James Miller full of praise for the impact of the Games.
“The Olympics have led the press to focus more on healthy eating, which has been a massive driver for the salads category,” said Miller.
Meanwhile Morrisons’ sales during the first weekend soared with sales of snacks, up almost 10 per cent, selling over 32,000 extra snacks in comparison to the same weekend last year. A spokesperson said: “Olympic fever has truly hit the nation and we expect these sales to continue in the coming weeks as Brits continue to celebrate this historic occasion.”
But Helen Dickinson, head of retail at professional services firm KPMG, stressed July was a lacklustre month and doubts whether August food sales will benefit from the Olympics. “Central London’s retailers are already being hit hard by shoppers actively avoiding the capital. It’s likely that any blip of benefit the Games bring will be short-lived,” she said.