Football's comi... boosting the economy!

Even before a ball had been kicked, we knew the World Cup might be a nice boost for the economy – reports suggest that sales of 55” or bigger TVs increased by 140% at John Lewis on the first day of the tournament and overall TV sales are double this time last year.

Then it happened. Kane’s last-minute winner vs. Tunisia. The thumping of Panama and England’s first penalty shoot out win at a major tournament for 22 years and first ever in a World Cup. Cue World Cup Fever.

Now with a World Cup quarter final on the horizon, expected viewing figures of 30m mean that retailers are bracing themselves for a huge run on beer, snacks, BBQ related items and of course, Swedish meatballs.

Research from the Centre for Retail Research suggests that the UK has already benefitted from ‘extra spending of more than £1bn this year’ and M&S saw demand for the £65 waistcoat made famous by Gareth Southgate increasing 35%. The below image shows the peak in searches for ‘Flights to Russia’ made minutes after England beat Colombia on Tuesday, and again the next morning.

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IF England did make it all the way, the same research suggests the boost to the economy could be as much as £2.7bn, including just under £500m handed over to pubs, restaurants, cafés and clubs.

Love it or hate it, you can’t argue that for at least 4 weeks this summer, football has brought a lot of people together and at a time when the economy is struggling, growing by just 0.1% in Q1 2018 and consumer confidence falling again earlier this year. This could just be the boost we all needed, after all… it’s coming home*


*disclaimer – this piece was written before England v Sweden, just in case it all goes wrong on Saturday

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Joe Yeadon, Research Manager

Katie Grundy