As the start of the World Cup looms closer, UK retailers across the country should be preparing for a drop in customer footfall, due to the numberof kick off times for the football tournament, warns retail intelligence firm Experian Footfall.
By analyzing data from the previous World Cup in South Africa, in 2010, the firm noted a correlation between earlier matches, particular those which involved the UK football team, and a decline in customer traffic to UK retail sites.
Matches which occurred earlier in the day when the England's team where playing had a larger impact on the footfall before and during games. On average, during the 2010 World Cup between 3 and 6 pm, the firm reported a 28 percent decline in footfall when an UK match begun at 3 pm. In comparison, the firm only found a 2 percent drop in footfall when a match involving England begun later, at 7.30 pm.
“Like any global sporting event, this year’s World Cup in Brazil will have both a positive and negative impact on retail footfall,” commented Steve Richardson, regional director for UK and Ireland, at Experian Footfall. “The challenge for retailers is to remain agile at all times and be able to call on additional staff and resources if required...late kick offs might see shoppers visiting stores out of normal peak hours.”
Experian adds that retailers should be aware of consumers changing shopping behaviour, which could impact normal trading hours, as many of UK's matches during this year's World Cup start after 5 pm. “If England progress into the knockout stages of the competition, more of the population will likely show an interest, again having an impact on retail footfall,” adds Richardson. “Those retailers that are able to react quickly to changing market trends will benefit most."