Football’s World Cup has often been a big money-spinner for retailers, who have sought to capitalise on the quadrennial event by using it in marketing, in-store promotions and visual displays. Often store maintenance priorities have been focused on creating a customer experience that may help generate significant extra sales.
Here are some obvious ways this can happen: wide screen TVs to watch games on, football shirts, balls and other equipment, goods to consume while watching like drinks and snacks, plus those ubiquitous England flags seen hanging from walls or attached to cars, are all examples of goods that will usually be in demand.
However, as Retail Gazette reports, the circumstances in which the 2022 tournament will be played will pose a combination of challenges that mean retailers will need to raise their games if they are to fully capitalise on the tournament.
Among these are the ambiguity some feel about the tournament due to it being played in Qatar, a country facing serious questions about its human rights record and reports of thousands of worker deaths during stadium construction projects, as well as the financial pressures of the cost of living and the timing of the tournament, moved from the summer to the pre-Christmas period.
In its World Cup 2022 Spending Report, Voucher Codes said it expected consumer spending to be 17.1 per cent lower than during the 2018 World Cup.
However, officials at retailers such as Sainsbury’s and M&S did say they expected bumper sales of food and drink, as many people would save money by watching games at home instead of the pub.
The tournament does, however, offer one element that may be more favourable to retailers – the fact two of the home nations are involved as England and Wales both qualified and actually face each other in the group phase. That means there will, for once, be direct interest in the UK outside England. Wales are playing in only their second World Cup and first since 1958.
Not since 1998, when Scotland joined England in the tournament and played Brazil in the tournament’s opening game, has there been more than one home nation involved.