Retail sales were given an early lift as the UEFA EURO 2020 tournament group stages got underway, however spikes in demand - especially across electricals and sportswear - is translating into poor online inventory availability.
The international tournament, which was delayed by 12months due to the pandemic, is expected to prompt a 1billion boost to the UK economy as UK shoppers stock up on beers, BBQ food, merchandise and TVs to celebrate the festival of football.
Sainsbury’s already reported a 14% week-on-week jump in beer sales during the first weekend of EURO 2020, while ASDA said it sold 2 million burgers, representing a 50% increase year-on-year. And the impact of the tournament on demand, particularly for electricals and sportwear goods, is already being felt on retailers’ available stock levels.
Analysis of more than 1.85 million SKUs across the UK’s leading sportswear and electrical retailers by OneStock’s Inventory Availability Index, showed that sportswear out-of-stocks jumped 6.8% week-on-week during the first week of international football matches, with unavailable ecommerce inventory accounting for an average of almost a quarter (23.6%) of UK sports retailer’s stock.
With pubs forced to restrict the numbers of punters allowed to watch matches in their venues, electrical retailers were also feeling the strain of demand as footie fans invested in new TVs and audio equipment to tune in and watch games at home. Unavailable online inventory made up over a fifth (20.5%) of electrical retailers’ ranging last week (w/e 21.06.21), meaning many maybe missing out on sales opportunities, just at the time consumers are ready and wanting to buy.
Romulus Grigoras, Founder and CEO at OneStock, comments: “It might be a case of ‘football coming home’, but sadly the same can’t be said for UK shoppers’ online orders, as available stock levels – especially among electrical and sportswear retailers – have seen a dip with the rising levels of demand prompted by the EUROs. Not only is this highly frustrating for shoppers, negatively impacting customer experience just at the moment the customer is ready to buy, it also erodes long-term customer loyalty; our research shows nearly three quarters of shoppers are less likely to buy again from a retailer if they experienced product unavailability.”
He concludes: “By unifying stock visibility centrally across channels – whether it’s from the DC, warehouse or store – orders can then be picked from any channel, meaning retailers can extend their available ranging to meet demand all while improving customer convenience, conversions and customer-life time value.”