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Retail and hospitality to get £363m early December boost from World Cup knock out stage

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Retail and hospitality sales are predicted to reach £368.3m during the first knock-out stage of the World Cup, kicking off on 3 December, following England progressing from the group stage.  

The World Cup 2022 Spending Report by predicts that 12 million consumers around the UK will tune into the tournament during the Round of 16 from homes, pubs, bars and restaurants.  

Rising costs coupled with the first ever winter tournament and irregular start times, mean that retailers alone are expected to make £273.3m across the eight matches as 9.3 million consumers tune in from their homes during the Round of 16 in a bid to save money. 

Spending on food and drink is predicted to account for £174.4m of total retail sales. Meanwhile, new TV electricals (£53m), sportswear (£34.7m) and souvenirs (£11.2m) also contribute to the total spend figure. 

In comparison, hospitality venues are forecasted to receive £95m during the four-day period of the Round of 16 as 3.2 million consumers visit their local hospitality venue. It’s anticipated that pubs, bars, and restaurants will pour 7.1 million pints – a drop of 24 million pints sold during the group stage. 

Maureen McDonagh, Managing Director at, says: “The ongoing cost-of-living crisis means that many consumers are choosing to watch the tournament at home to save money. As a result, retailers can expect a busy period during this stage of the tournament as consumers stock up on match day essentials.  

“With over nine million fans set to host friends and family to make an event of the first knock-out stage, there are plenty of opportunities for retailers to take advantage of the tournament. Saving money is more important than ever for many consumers, therefore offering competitive discounts and special offers that provide real value to customers will allow you to capitalise on the excitement of the tournament. Alongside offering deals on food and drink ahead of the matches, setting up incentives such as loyalty schemes will encourage customers to return and shop with you throughout the tournament.”

Boring game bonanza

Retailers may also be hoping that England put in another typically dull performance when they face Senegal in the first knock-out game – and any others after that – as their on-pitch dullness can also drive sales.

According to data from Zendbox taken the England versus USA match which took place on the evening of Black Friday, while shopping traffic dropped dramatically at kick-off, the second half of the uneventful nil-nil draw saw it pick up again.

More broadly, the research shows that whilst the amount of orders continues to grow from October to November, in line with the Black Friday sales, this has slowed to a 71% increase compared to last year’s figure of 118%. This indicates that despite consumers continuing to show an interest in the potential bargains on offer, the overall uptake has noticeably decreased.

Commenting on the findings, Head of Marketing at Zendbox, Gilson Pereira, says: “With the cost-of-living crisis at the forefront of the nation’s mind, it’s been interesting to see how this has impacted shopping habits over Black Friday. On one hand, we predicted that Brits may be looking for the best bargains to save in the long run, but another theory was that many may be trying to avoid spending at all costs given the current climate. The results indicate that although Brits haven’t been entirely disenchanted by the Black Friday sales, the latter is a more accurate description.”

“Black Friday is the perfect opportunity to cut costs on otherwise expensive purchases and in the face of tightening budgets, the data clearly shows that some Brits are continuing to make the most of the enticing deals that the retail event has to offer. Even so, an increasing number of people are being much more mindful of how and where they spend their hard-earned money this year, and those who may previously have been tempted by the prospect of a Black Friday deal are now prioritising essential purchases, or saving their cash in time for Christmas.”

“The slow down in growth can also be attributed to UK retailers launching promotions earlier and earlier each year, with sales spread out throughout the month. By being less reliant on the Black Friday event, retailers are trying to capture consumers’ share-of-wallet sooner, so they are launching promotions earlier each year.”

“Surprisingly, the FIFA World Cup ultimately had little impact on shopper turnout this year. It seems that due to an underwhelming game, even the nation’s most-loved sporting event couldn’t keep us away from securing a bargain on our favourite products, particularly ahead of gifting season.”

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