Most retailers close to Olympic events are seeing big upturns in turnover, although not all outlets are enjoying the same sales bonanza, according to Independent Retail News.
Anish Patel, whose Sewells News is just a few hundred yards from Hampton Court Palace in south-west London, saw sales more than double on the four days the road cycle races and time trials and the Olympic Torch Relay came close to his store.
The biggest day was for the women’s and men’s time trials, which began and finished at Hampton Court and attracted thousands of people who lined the run-in to the finishing line. “It was one of the most amazing days I have experienced in my life. It was fantastic,” Patel said.
The newsagents and off-licence had three tills operating continually as people flocked into the store to snap up ice-cream, soft drinks, beer, wine and snacks. The store turnover for the day was almost £7,000, more than double the average takings.
Patel parked a small truck out the back full of ambient goods so he could keep up with demand and he and his father made nine trips to the cash and carry over four days.
Sifat Hiyat only opened his Nisa Local store in Stratford, east London, two weeks before the Olympics started and sales were already up 60% in the first week of the Games. The store is just half a mile from the Olympic Park and opposite the outlet is a large screen showing live sporting action. Hiyat said demand was high for snacks, ice-cream and soft drinks.
Retailers in Weymouth did not see the expected uplift in sales during the first week of the Olympic sailing events. Some complained fears of traffic congestion had put people off from visiting the town centre.
Steve Bassett, who runs two Londis stores in Weymouth, said: “We were extremely busy for the opening ceremony, but since then it has been flat. We thought we were going to be full up and flat out.”
He said the main spectator area for the sailing events was attracting 15,000 people a day, but most of them turned up with provisions in their backpacks, rather than buying them in the town.