There is a very real chance that the birth of the royal baby could have a very positive impact on retail sales in the UK, according to a leading industry body.
According to KPMG head of retail David McCorquodale, the arrival of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s baby could inject a “feel-good lift” into July retail sales – particularly of champagne and other celebratory and commemorative items.
“While this temporary uplift won’t transform the fortunes of the UK retail sector, a mini memorabilia bonanza would still raise some much needed cash for retailers’ coffers, putting them on a stronger footing as they restock stores with autumnal ranges,” he said.
The prediction of a retail boost caused by the birth of a royal baby isn’t far-fetched – Mr McCorquodale pointed out that last year’s Jubilee celebrations also led to a spike in British retail sales.
Conversely, sales of TVs have fallen in the UK this year – it is assumed that many households upgraded their televisions last year to watch the London 2012 Olympic Games, and aren’t shopping for this type of major purchase again in 2013.
Overall, the UK retail market continues to show strong signs of recovery in the wake of the global recession, which are largely down to hard work and promotion-led retail campaigns.
Fashion, he observed, performed particularly well in recent months – and this strong result may have been boosted by warm spring and summer weather.
“Sales of fashion and footwear particularly benefited from the change in seasons as shoppers refreshed their wardrobe and got ready to enjoy the warmer weather,” Mr McCorquodale said.
Online sales were also at their highest point in 11 months – excluding the Christmas season – according to the latest data from KPMG and the British Retail Consortium.