The UK economy has seen a hefty boost as a direct result of the Queen’s jubilee celebrations over the last month, with six out of ten retailers reporting rising sales.
As the Queen waved to crowds of thousands of well-wishers, consumers and tourists alike hit the shops hard, some looking for their favourite piece of memorabilia, others shopping in preparation for street parties. From the marching bands to the 1000 boat armada that dominated the river Thames, four days of jubilee celebrations were brought to a triumphant conclusion by an appearance from the Queen and her family, on the balcony of Buckingham palace.
Flypasts from world war two aircrafts and the world-renowned Red Arrows littered the skies as the Queen was paid homage by the Archbishop of Canterbury, who praised her “lifelong dedication”. In attendance throughout the entirety of the celebrations, The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry greeted crowds as the celebrations showed the bank holiday weekend.
The entire jubilee celebrations were expected to boost spending in the UK to over £500m, including overseas and commonwealth customers. Even with the double bank holiday, where many shops and businesses were expected to be closed, the UK economy still benefited from the additional retail spend leading up to, and soon after the celebrations.
Consumers were expected to spend around £823m on the weekend celebrations, dwarfing the £480m spent on the royal wedding the previous year. Sainsbury’s supermarkets also reported a sharp rise in sales, with more salad packs, fruit, burgers and bread rolls sold on the Friday (25th May) than any other Friday in their 143 year history.
Many sectors across the British economy are expected to continue improving sales profits, with grocers, leather retailers and footwear businesses reporting the biggest rise in profits since the end of 2010, subsequently the last time the economy was recovering strongly from the financial meltdown.
As shop sales remained on target during the jubilee, official figures have shown a significant rise in retails during May. This news has been welcomed against a backdrop of a collapse in demand during the previous spring months that reflected the UK’s dive into recession.
The John Lewis Partnership also reported a rise in overall sales. The combination of the jubilee celebrations, half term and the dampening rain resulted in an 18 per cent jump in sales over the jubilee celebrations, with their Swindon branch reporting a 50 per cent rise in sales. The UK’s biggest department store also predicts future record sales in line with Euro 2012, the Olympics and their up and coming clearance sale.
According to the monthly CBI (Confederation of British Industry) Distributive Trades Survey, 58% of retailers recorded a rise in the volume of sales during June, making it consistent with jubilee celebrations. Clothes and shoe sales also reported a rise in sales for the third month in a row leading up to the jubilee, with many other industries continuing to revel in the wake of the celebrations.
James is an freelance writer and journalist and who is writing on behalf of Brookson Accountants.