Almost eight in 10 (77%) UK SME retailers expect to see an increase in sales this summer, according to a new study commissioned by Royal Mail. On average, retailers are expecting a sales increase of almost a third (29%) over the summer months. Hot weather (39%), bank holidays (39%), summer sporting events (32%) and new trends influenced by celebrities (32%) are the main reasons for this expected spike.
70% of UK SME retailers run their business differently throughout the year to make the most of seasonal demand. 71% have to specifically amend their product offering and stocks to prepare for summer orders.
Over half (52%) expect to see an increase in overseas sales this summer. The main reasons for this are hot weather (15%), a marketing drive (13%), increased demand in the summer (8%) and sporting events (5%).
Summer fashion trends
Over two-thirds (68%) of UK SME retailers typically sell more summer clothes than winter clothes each year. 63% of retailers also agree that when the weather is hot they see a sudden spike in sales.
Retailers expect to sell clothes (39%), wedding goods (33%) and summer accessories (30%) the most this summer. The products retailers consider will be the most popular are summer dresses (60%), followed by sunglasses (46%) and sandals (42%). Wicker bags (38%) and wedding hats (35%) are also set to be popular.
The main reasons retailers sell more clothes during the summer months are that customers are influenced by what celebrities have been wearing during the summer season (58%) and they want to follow the latest fashion trends (57%).
Summer of sport
Six in ten (59%) UK SME retailers agree that sporting events always help to increase sales. The World Cup (71%), Wimbledon tennis tournament (56%) and The Open golf tournament in Scotland (45%) are the sporting events retailers expect to benefit from the most this summer.
A spokesperson for Royal Mail said: “With forecasters predicting a long hot UK summer, retailers are set to capitalise on the good weather this year. It’s encouraging to see that many expect to see an increase in sales this season. By selecting high quality, great value services from Royal Mail, whatever the weather retailers can set themselves up for success.”
A spokesperson for Bambino Mio said: “Thanks to the wonderful hot weather that we’re experiencing this year, we have already seen a huge 96% YOY sales increase for Bambino Mio’s reusable swim nappies. Last year, reusable nappies were the top selling summer product, whereas this year we’re predicting that the majority of our overall product sales will come from reusable swim nappy sales. With the current weather forecast continuing to look positive, we’re also expecting to see an increase in potty training products as summer is the best time of year for parents to take on the potty training challenge.
“Overseas swim nappy sales have continued to perform well in USA, Canada, Germany, Spain and France, but they do have the advantage of better weather throughout the year! Sunnier climates, here we come.”