I love all the weather-related retail stories that come out whenever there’s the slightest sign of a heatwave in the UK. It’s a gift for PRs (who are probably sitting on a load of Royal Baby press releases they can’t send out yet) and a fun way to fill column inches for newspapers – and yes, even blogs.
The subject came up in a meeting with a Major Supermarket earlier this week, where they pointed that thanks to the hot weather they might be selling more barbeque food, summer clothing and paddling pools, but you win some you lose some because categories like DVDs suffer a drop in sales when we spend our evenings swanning round the garden instead of watching a DVD indoors.
So here’s the latest stats:
Amazon – year-on-year sales are up 816% for paddling pools, 519% for sprinklers and sprayers, 543% for patio chairs and loungers and 145% for sun skincare products
M&S – ice lolly sales up 300% year-on-year
More than four in 10 of us have had a barbecue so far this summer, compared with just three in 10 throughout the whole of last year.
Waitrose – 450 per cent leap in sales for barbecues, and a 316 per cent rise for Pimm’s.
Asda – barbeque sales up 204% in the last two weeks, charcoal and fuel up 176%, paddling pool sales up 446% and sales of garden furniture up 44%.
Experian said that in the first week of July footfall in Britain’s shopping streets and centres was down 8 per cent on the same period last year.
Most major online travel agents are reporting sales down by more than 20 per cent.
And of course, hot weather can be very dangerous for anyone who is frail, ill or doing something stupid like swimming in a quarry. Slip, slop, slap and stay safe.