Shropshire traders cash in as World Cup fever sees sales soar
As the sun shines and World Cup mania reaches fever-pitch shops across the county have been cashing in.
A combination of England's unexpected World Cup journey and blazing sunshine have seen supermarkets and pubs reaping the benefits.
While most traders said they were reluctant to put the increase solely down to the World Cup, the combined impact of the weather and the football, has undoubtedly played a part.
David Bassett, manager of Woodfield Stores in Shrewsbury, said: "Sales are up 20 per cent. Sales have increased on everything.
"We usually have a rise during heatwaves, but we have also been busier because of the World Cup."
Alex Medhurst, owner of Hodnet Village Stores, said: "I think it is because of a combination of the weather and the World Cup. It is hard to say which one has had the biggest impact but we are certainly selling a lot of beer. Obviously both have been very positive."
Peter Leach, manager of Mid Counties Co-Operative shopping centre in Churchstoke, said: "We have had a good couple of weeks. I am not sure how much is due to the World Cup or the weather or the combination of the both.
"But, our sales of charcoal, beer, and wines and spirits have been exceptionally good.
"We have been doing some special offers on pizzas and Budweiser on a daily basis and they have been selling out.
"Anything to do with the hot weather we sell out of, it gets people in a good mood."
Mr Leach said that while the high street has been enduring a tough run, firms need to cash in when the opportunity arises.
He said: "There have been reports of the high street having difficult times but it is times like these when you reap the benefits of it with the weather and sports events coming together in harmony."
Stans Superstore in St Martins outside Oswestry have also seen a boost.
Justin Smart, general manager said: "I think people are probably spending more than they normally would because it is a good excuse to get out and spend some money. I do not think people worry too much about spending money when the weather is nice and particularly in England when the national team is doing well. People seem to be able to find money when the weather is nice."
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Spending in pubs had also surged by a third on the day of England's debut match in the 2018 World Cup, figures show.
Consumer spending in pubs jumped by 33 per cent on the day of the first England match compared with the same day a week earlier, as England fans toasted the team's success against Tunisia on June 18.
Boosted by the kick-off of the World Cup, pub expenditure grew by 9.5 per cent overall in June, when compared with June 2017, according to Barclaycard's data.
Spending grew by 5.1 per cent overall year-on-year in June.
Esme Harwood, director at Barclaycard, said: "As the warm weather continues and World Cup fever sets in, it's clear many households are prioritising fun in the sun while making the most of the summer's best experiences.
"While some lingering caution remains, confidence in household finances is at a 12-month high. This may be good news for retailers, especially as many shoppers are keen to use their spending power to help their local high street."
Meanwhile, separate figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC)-KPMG retail sales monitor showed that in June, UK retail sales increased by 1.1% on a like-for-like basis from June 2017.
On a total basis, sales increased by 2.3 per cent annually in June.
Helen Dickinson, chief executive at BRC, said: "Beer, barbecues and big TVs lifted June's sales as warm weather and World Cup fever gripped the nation."
But she cautioned: "The reality is that sales don't grow on the feel-good factor alone.
"With household incomes still barely growing faster than inflation, conditions for consumers and retailers remain extremely tough."