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SBD Global/August 8, 2012/Olympics
Visa Sees Surge In Card Use, But London Businesses Claim Sales Are Weak
Published August 8, 2012
RETAILERS SUFFERING: Meanwhile, in London, Hopkins & Leroux reported shops that were counting on a summer of events including the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, Euro 2012 and the London Games "breathing new life into the high street have been left feeling as grey as the weather." The British Retail Consortium and KPMG have reported that "like-for-like sales rose by a meagre" 0.1% in the year to July, compared with a 0.6% increase in the same month last year. KPMG Head of Retail Helen Dickinson said, “Sadly, July was a lacklustre month and it’s doubtful this trend will change as early expectations that the Olympics will raise retailers’ fortunes look to be wide of the mark." The consortium and KPMG said that retailers in central London "had been hit hard by shoppers actively avoiding the capital," and it was likely that "any benefit brought by the Games would be short-lived” (LONDON TIMES, 8/7). MARKETING MAGAZINE's Matthew Chapman wrote that the Olympics "may finally be benefiting central London retail after initially having an adverse effect on footfall." Heart of London, the business improvement district representing the area of Leicester Square, Piccadilly and St James’, said that between July 30-31, "footfall was up" 11.6% from the previous week, and up 16.2% from the same week in '11 (MARKETINGMAGAZINE.co.uk, 8/7).
TOUGH SAILING: In London, Simon Greaves reported that businesses in the Dorset resort of Weymouth, which is hosting Olympic sailing on the waters off the Jurassic coast, are "fearful of the worst summer season in half a century." Despite the crowds "that have lined the cliff tops and beaches to watch the action," traditional tourists "have been deterred." Antonio's Cafe owner Francis Drake said, "It's been a bad business. Quite frankly, we will be glad to see the back of the Olympics" (FINANCIAL TIMES, 8/6).