UK economy to score a £1.33 billion boost during 2018 World Cup

The British economy is set to benefit from a £1.33bn boost if England make it through the second round (the round of 16) of the 2018 World Cup, rising to £2.72bn if the team make it through to the final, according to figures from VoucherCodes and the Centre for Retail Research(CRR).

Where Football Fans Will Be Watching

Pubs, restaurants, cafés and clubs are set to benefit most from the nation’s World Cup fever, with £193m expected to be spent by consumers watching the tournament, rising to a huge £488m if England make it to the final. This is supported by a separate study of 2,000 British adults by Opinium and VoucherCodes, which reveals a quarter of people in the UK will spend money on drinks throughout the tournament and watch England games at their local pub.

Whilst many people will head to pubs, clubs and bars to watch the games, the figures reveal the majority of British public (86%) are planning to watch the tournament from home. Those who stay at home are expected to splash £240m on food and £297m on alcohol if England makes it through the second round, rising to £1.12bn if they make it through to the final. They will also spend £37m getting their gardens ready and upgrading their BBQs to host friends and family, increasing to £62m – almost double the amount – if England get to the final.

Strategies to increase spend

The research revealed that retailers can look to increase this spend even more by providing pairing suggestions in their outlet, with alcohol, fizzy drink and food combinations and deals. Interestingly, over 1 in 4 (26%) 18 – 24-year olds would be encouraged to spend more at a retail store during the World Cup if they were offered advice on which food and drink combinations went well together.

However, this strategy does not appeal to older consumers, with only 2% of those over 55 open to pairing advice. Younger consumers are also more interested in vouchers and offers, with nearly 1 in 4 18–24-year olds (24%) saying they could be encouraged to spend more if there was a deal, and a third of those aged 25-34, versus only 16% of 45 to 54-year-olds, and 8% of those over 55. It is a similar story for publicans and restaurant owners, with 1 in 4 (25%) 18 – 24-year olds saying they would be attracted to spend more when offered pairing suggestions in outlets.

Total Spend During 2018 World Cup Across Each Sector (All £ in Millions)

Category Group Round 16 Subtotal Sales post-Grp 16 if England doesn’t progress Total sales if England leave after Grp 16 Total Sales if England are finalists
Food & drink £386 £151 £537 £282 £819 £1,122
    -food £177 £63 £240 £123 £363 £506
    -drink £209 £88 £297 £159 £456 £616
TV electrical £160 £67 £227 £75 £302 £431
Sportwear £196 £68 £264 £25 £289 £463
Souvenirs £52 £20 £72 £11 £83 £155
Gardens/BBQ £26 £11 £37 £7 £44 £62
All retail £820 £317 £1,137 £400 £1,537 £2,233
Pubs clubs café £128 £65 £193 £166 £359 £488
Totals £948 £382 £1,330 £566 £1,896 £2,721


World Cup Spending Spree

UK consumers are expected to spend heavily to celebrate the World Cup, spending £264m on sportswear to emulate their football heroes, rising to £463m if England make it through to the final, with almost one in 10 loyal supporters looking to purchase a new football shirt. Fans will also spend a lot on souvenirs to celebrate and remember the occasion, spending £72m during the second round and £155m if England goes the distance. Whilst those looking to upgrade their viewing at home will spend £277m on new TVs and electricals, rising to £431m if England make it through to the final. Surprisingly, just 16% of people in the UK claim their spending will slow if England are knocked out of the World Cup.

Regional Spending

In terms of regional differences, London looks likely to be most gripped by football fever, with 60% of its population planning to watch the World Cup. Consumers in London are also the most likely to purchase a new team shirt for the occasion, with 17% looking to hit the shops to buy one. Sheffield residents are the most likely to head to a pub, bar or club for England’s World Cup fixtures, with 43% planning to do so during the group stages. On the other hand, locals in Norwich are most likely to watch the matches at home with friends and family, even if England make it to the final, with 89% planning to do so.

Jimmy New, director of marketing at VoucherCodes, comments: “The 2018 World Cup looks set to be a huge event in the UK, not only for football fans but for British retailers too, with a huge £1.33bn estimated to be put through the tills over the next couple of months to celebrate the tournament.

“Retailers and publicans can maximise the opportunity by creating a sense of occasion in their outlets. Everything from point of sale to pairing suggestions and offers, can help  tap into the World Cup Fever and increase consumer spend.”