Royal Wedding celebrations send sales falling for independent retailers


Overall sales dropped 8% for independent retailers on Saturday compared to the previous weekend, according to data from leading retail software firm Vend. Spending also decreased by 2%.

However, some independent retail outlets did benefit from the celebrations, with beer, wine and spirits store sales increasing by 7% and convenience stores sales jumping 5%, compared to the previous Saturday. Those that fared the worst were fashion and apparel stores which had sales drop by 24%, and fitness centres which saw an 18% decrease as people opted to skip the gym and watch the nuptials instead.

And it was retailers in Leeds that seemed to see an upside in the Royal Wedding, with sales increasing by 19% on Saturday. Meanwhile, Manchester shoppers were nowhere to be seen, contributing to a 16% drop in retail sales.

“The Royal Wedding may have caused bottles of bubbly to pop open around the country, but it was a total fizzer for our independent retailers,” says Vaughan Rowsell, founder of Vend. “While shoppers in Manchester and Birmingham clearly stayed away from the shops to watch the big event, what about the people of Leeds? Perhaps they were spending up large in celebration, or perhaps the numbers tell us something different.”

Sales by main city:

– Leeds: 19% increase

– Brighton: 9% increase

– Bristol: 7% increase

– London: 3% increase

– Edinburgh: 2% decrease

– Glasgow: 2% decrease

– Birmingham: 14% decrease

– Manchester: 16% decrease

Highest and lowest sales by store type:

– Beer, wine spirits: 7% increase

– Drinking places: 6% increase

– Convenience stores: 5% increase

– Home, lifestyle and gift stores: 15% decrease

– Fitness centres: 18% decrease

– Fashion and apparel: 24% decrease