The warm weather has been as important as the World Cup in lifting sales, according to our reader panel. Some 90% of the panel reported sales boosts from their World Cup promotions, but several added that they believed a sustained spell of hot weather had been a key driver, particularly for beverage sales.
The World Cup provides an obvious opportunity to boost sales so it is no surprise that all of our reader panel members said they had, in fact, run World Cup promotions and 90% had received good support from suppliers for the programmes.
Beer and football traditionally go hand-in-hand, or in this case hand-to-mouth. Our wholesaler panel said this year was no different: many reported that supplier promotional support focused mainly on beer and other beverages. Several reported healthy sales in the non-food category as well, with items such as flags and banners. "The England flag items have done really well," said one member, "But I'm happy to say we have sold them out early. I really wouldn't want to be carrying any of that now. Some retailers say that sales are already slowing down"
Surprisingly, 50% of our reader panel had experienced out of stocks, including several in The Midlands who had out of stocks on some carbonated beverage lines. Coca-Cola was one of the suppliers mentioned by name. However, most wholesalers said suppliers had performed well on availability so far during the World Cup. One member said: "We had a few stock-outs on minor beverage lines, but nothing that will hurt the business. The supplier contacted us and explained that they were focusing on the major lines during the World Cup and that is fine."
Our reader panel did not appear to be overly impressed with an England team that has been hailed as the best since 1966. Some 60% of the panel do not believe that England will win the Cup, proving that wholesalers are more rational than emotional. One said: "Let's face it: it looks like Argentina will take it." Sentiment did come into play, however, as the World Cup is undoubtedly good for sales. Another member said: "In the past when England has gone far in the tournament, it has been great for business, so I certainly hope they do well this time."