Experian Footfall: UK retailers must keep their eye on the ball to score increased footfall during 2014 World Cup

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With the World Cup in Brazil about to start, Experian FootFall, the retail intelligence company, is warning UK retailers to prepare for the impact of customer footfall, due to various kick off times in the tournament. This advice is based on analysis of the last World Cup in South Africa in 2010 where games that kicked off earlier involving England in particular, caused an adverse effect on customer traffic to UK retail sites.

When the England team is playing and matches occur earlier in the day, there is a bigger impact on the footfall preceding and also during games. During the 2010 tournament in South Africa, Experian FootFall found that on average, between 3–6pm, there was a 28% drop in footfall on those days when an England match started at 3pm.

This compares to just a 2% drop in footfall during the build up to games involving England which kicked off at 7.30pm at the same World Cup.

England’s first game at Brazil 2014 versus Italy kicks off at 11pm on Saturday 14 June with further group games against Uruguay at 10pm on Thursday 19 June and Costa Rica at 5pm on Tuesday 24 June respectively.  So with games starting from 5pm to 11pm during this time, retailers need to be aware of changing shopping behaviour that could impact on standard trading hours.

Steve Richardson, regional director UK and Ireland, at Experian FootFall, said:“Like any global sporting event, this year’s World Cup in Brazil will have both a positive and negative impact on retail footfall.  The challenge for retailers is to remain agile at all times and be able to call on additional staff and resources if required.  Good weather before a big game can see a spike in demand for BBQ items like food and drink while late kick offs might see shoppers visiting stores out of normal peak hours.”

Richardson said: “If England progress into the knock out stages of the competition, more of the population will likely show an interest, again having an impact on retail footfall.  Those retailers that are able to react quickly to changing market trends will benefit most.”