Was World Cup fever good for business? England’s heroic football foray gave some industries cause to cheer, while others nursed a sore head
- Bars enjoyed a 150% spike in transactions over England’s World Cup games
- Supermarkets and fast-food outlets were boosted too, says SumUp
- Non-food retailers and the fitness industry suffered while fans watched matches
England’s World Cup heroics did little to boost the UK’s struggling retail market, but the team’s run to the semi-finals did give some industries a kick in the right direction.
Latest Government figures found that consumers steered clear of fashion, home and electricals shops during the dizzy heights of England‘s World Cup match days.
But that could be because Brits chose to spend their cash in pubs and bars instead, where transactions boomed an intoxicating 150 per cent across England’s seven games, compared with the equivalent days a month earlier.
Consumers skipped the High Street to join in the festivities around England’s big matches
Bars were by far the biggest winners, peaking during England’s semi-final against Croatia, according to research by mobile payments platform SumUp, followed by social clubs where dealings jumped 59 per cent.
And this despite a major CO2 shortage, which threatened to scupper beer sales for many publicans, including Wetherspoons.
SumUp co-founder Marc-Alexander Christ said: ‘The World Cup can be a massive boost for a number of industries, but the draw of delighting in the atmosphere of a bar remains an unbeatable feeling.’
The food industry, including food trucks, grocery stores and delivery services, enjoyed a healthy increase too as eager viewers skipped cooking and stocked up on snacks instead.
World Cup winners and losers by sector
Membership Organisations: +59.1%
Food Trucks: +18.2%
Food Groceries +17.2%
Outdoor Markets: +14.3%
Fast Food Restaurants: +13.5%
Lidl said it experienced its highest ever shopper numbers, outside of Christmas, in stores over the past month, as World Cup fever drove bumper sales across meat beer, wine and spirits.
But, the football tournament was – perhaps ironically – a less fruitful time for the fitness industry, which endured a 10 per cent fall in transactions as people attended fewer fitness classes and personal training sessions.
And, despite bumper waistcoat sales for M&S, non-food retailers suffered too with the distraction of the games contributing to a 0.5 per cent decline in non-food sales in June, according to the ONS.
‘It appears many households saw the hot weather and the World Cup as a welcome distraction from the high street rather than an excuse to spend,’ said Jacob Deppe, head of trading at Infinox.