Thank you Madam – UK retail and hospitality get Jubilee boost

  • Visitor numbers up 6.9% over the 4-day Jubilee weekend compared to the May average
  • Attendance up 17.1% for the whole week compared to the May average

LONDON, June 6 (Reuters) – Britain’s hospitality and retail sectors were boosted by celebrations commemorating Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee, with footfall over the four-day weekend in up 6.9% from the May average, according to industry data released on Monday.

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) and Sensormatic Solutions said total footfall for the whole week to Sunday June 5 was up 17.1% on the May average, as Britons temporarily put aside concerns about to the cost of living crisis.

The increase peaked at 45.6% on Thursday, before attendance fell on Saturday and Sunday.

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“The public took to the streets for the Jubilee celebrations, with footfall in stores enjoying significant improvements in the early parts of the long weekend,” said Helen Dickinson, CEO of BRC.

“More people have been hitting the shops, with many looking for Jubilee decorations, garden accessories and new outfits…We hope the momentum can continue despite the ongoing economic turmoil.”

Last week, a joint survey of members by four trade bodies predicted that the UK hospitality industry would benefit from a £2 billion ($2.5 billion) Jubilee weekend.

UKHospitality, the British Institute of Innkeeping, the British Beer and Pub Association and Hospitality Ulster said the figure was almost £400million more than pubs, bars, restaurants and other hospitality venues could hope to earn during a normal Thursday to Sunday in May.

British supermarkets also anticipated a rise in trade.

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But the boost to the economy from Jubilee spending should be short-lived.

Soaring prices are causing the biggest hit to UK household incomes since at least the 1950s and consumer confidence is at near record highs. Inflation hit a 40-year high of 9% in April and is expected to rise further.

To cushion the blow, the government last month announced a £15billion support package for households struggling to cope with rising energy bills. Read more

Shares of Tesco (TSCO.L), Britain’s largest supermarket group, Sainsbury’s (SBRY.L) and Marks & Spencer (MKS.L) all rose around 1% in morning trading.

M&S said last month that Britons would not feel the full force of the country’s cost of living crisis until the autumn.

($1 = 0.7963 pounds)

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Reporting by James Davey, editing by Louise Heavens and Emelia Sithole-Matarise

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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