Retailers and suppliers have toasted the resilience of the British consumer, as millions of Brits defied the torrential downpours over the Jubilee weekend to stock up on party essentials.
Despite fears of a royal wash-out, retailers have claimed record sales over the four-day celebrations, as shoppers cleared stores of royal-themed paraphernalia and key party items, such as bunting, bagged salads and bread rolls, boosting sales of many lines by double digits.
“It is great to see Brits all over the country getting into the spirit of the Jubilee and not letting the wet weather dampen their spirits,” said Morrisons group commercial director Richard Hodgson.
This was echoed by Asda, which said shoppers kept to their plans “in true British style”, with even weather-sensitive lines - such as barbecue items - selling well.
Sainsbury’s said it sold 403 miles of bunting and over 450,000 flags. The Co-operative Group said sales of BBQ products and accessories, such as paper plates,almost tripled. Fresh sausage rolls were up 75%.
Sales over the Jubilee were also given a helping hand by exceptionally good weather during the run-up to the weekend.
Strawberry supplier Berry Gardens reported its biggest-ever single sales day on 1 June, selling £1.5m worth of strawberries. And salad supplier G’s Fresh said it saw a “substantial increase” in sales in the week preceding the Jubilee, similar to the one seen for the royal wedding last year, although it expected a “rebalancing” this week.
Not all suppliers had good news, however. One beer supplier said Jubilee sales had been “a bit of a damp squib” and had fallen short of expectations created by the royal wedding last year. “No-one was going to get thirsty in that weather,” a soft drinks source added.
Chilled manufacturers were “caught between the devil and the deep blue sea,” said another supplier, after sales soared in the good weather in the run-up to the Jubilee and put pressure on availability.
“The warm weather the week before escalated demand and gave very high expectations for the Jubilee weekend, which weren’t matched,” he said.