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SBD Global/August 13, 2012/Olympics

Team GB Kit Boosts Retail Sales, But Goals Still Not Met

Sales of Team GB replica kit have helped to "boost retailers" during the second week of the Olympics despite initial fears that the Games "were affecting footfall in Britain’s high streets and shopping centres," according to Graham Ruddick of the London TELEGRAPH. Department store group John Lewis said that sales over the past week are up 22.4% compared to the same period last year thanks to the warm weather and “feel-good factor” of Team GB’s Gold Medal performances. Adidas, which produces the Great Britain and London Games sportswear, said it is seeing “unprecedented demand.” The company said that Team GB kit is now "the biggest selling licensed clothing range in the U.K." Additionally, footfall at adidas’s Oxford Street store is up 82% compared to last year. Online sales are also up 62% in the U.K. for adidas (TELEGRAPH, 8/10). In London, Jennifer Thompson wrote that department store chain John Lewis saw sales rise 22.4% to £63.3M ($99M) during the week of Aug. 4 compared with a 20.7% increase for the same period last year. The retailer is regarded by analysts as an "important bellwether for how the event will affect the sector" as it releases a weekly sales update. The retailer's performance in central London suggested shoppers "have heeded the Prime Minister's plea for people to return to the city centre" during the Games (FINANCIAL TIMES, 8/10).

SWAG SELLING: The WALL STREET JOURNAL noted that if organizers are to "reach their stated goal" of raising £80M ($125.4M) from merchandising royalties, licensees "will have to sell about £1B ($1.5B) of swag." LOCOG said the goal "was on track" but wouldn't have a final update until after the Paralympics. The Olympics-wear aisles of the Sports Direct store on London's Oxford Street were "packed Friday evening with shoppers looking for deals." Everything "Team GBR" was marked down and "quickly filling shoppers' bags" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 8/12). In Beijing, He Wei wrote that as fans celebrate the 17-day Games, official sports-equipment provider DHS also has "embraced the winning spirit as business soars after sponsoring the ping pong and weightlifting events" (CHINA DAILY, 8/10).
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