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World Cup retail revenue spike set to be down 18% compared to 2018

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With many retailers hoping for the FIFA World Cup to bring a boost to already flagging peak spending, research suggests that even this is likely to be faltering, with expected to drop by £370m compared to the 2018 competition.

The 2022 World Cup Spending Report1 by expects retailers to make £1.6bn in sales throughout the tournament. With the competition being held during winter for the first time ever, data shows the colder weather combined with the current cost-of-living crisis will negatively impact retail sales, which are set to be down 19% compared to the last World Cup (£1.9bn).

This is despite more consumers than ever (26.5 million) predicted to watch from home, friends’ houses and even offices rather than heading to hospitality venues.  

Food and drink is expected to account for £1bn of total retail sales, however, despite the tournament’s overlap with the Black Friday Period, all retail categories will see a decline in spend compared to the 2018 World Cup.  

Thanks to rising inflation and record high cost of living, consumers are minimising spending  where they can, and souvenirs and sportswear are expected to be hit the hardest. Retail sales for souvenirs are forecast to be down 49% on 2018 at £61.3m, while sportswear (£197.1m) and TV electrical goods (£318.8m) are expected to drop 48% and 16% respectively.  

Retail sales are expected to peak during the group stage (20th November – 2nd December) at £1.01bn. Smaller sums are forecast during the round of 16 (£273.3m), quarter-finals (£182.5m), semi-finals (£85.3m) and the final match (£48m). This is due to the expectation that England will only make it to the quarter-finals before being ousted from the competition.  

Maureen McDonagh, Managing Director at explains: “It’s clear that the ongoing cost-of-living crisis is going to negatively impact retailer profits during the 2022 World Cup, especially when comparing our forecasts to the impressive sales driven as a result of the last World Cup in 2018. However, despite a more muted sales performance anticipated, retailers can still expect a busy period during the World Cup, particularly as more consumers than ever are planning to tune in to the games from home in order to save money.”

She adds: “With huge numbers of fans set to host friends and family to make an event of the games, there are plenty of opportunities for retailers to take advantage of this greatly anticipated tournament. With saving money front of mind for many consumers, offering competitive discounts and special offers that provide real value to customers has never been more important. Aside from deals, you can also ensure you have incentives such as rewards or loyalty points running throughout the tournament to encourage customers to return and shop with you ahead of future games.” 

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