Retailers trading next to Olympic Games venues celebrated a golden sales fortnight to match Team GB’s own glittering success, while stores just a mile outside of key venues were left disappointed as fears over congestion and chaos prompted shoppers to steer clear.
Sales at the Nisa Local Western Gateway, which is directly next to London’s ExCel Centre, were up 50%, despite a new Tesco Express having opened just a couple of units away and the store front being covered in scaffolding.
“Business has been good - it’s been a very busy couple of weeks,” said store manager Abdullah Daulatzai. “We hired extra staff and had 40 pallets delivered in one week.”
Sales at Hampton Court Superstore in Hampton Court, on the Olympic cycling time trial race route, were also up by more than 40%.
Retailers’ experiences were backed up by logistics operator Wincanton, which reported that grocery volumes only increased noticeably in stores immediately next to Olympic venues, where many saw 50% increases in demand.
Dee Vaidya’s Budgens store in Bow, London, is a mile away from Victoria Park, where special Olympic celebrations were held. Despite this, Dee reported flat sales. He told C-Store: “We saw a great boost the night of the opening ceremony, but sales all but flat-lined after that and were no better than this time last year. There were so many scare stories in the news about the traffic chaos that the Games would cause that people stayed away.”
However, well away from Olympic venues, retailers who ran themed promotions and held community events reported better results.
Mandeep Singh, co-owner of Premier Singh’s in Sheffield, enjoyed a sales spike after increasing promotions and running a poster campaign to support local girl and Olympic Gold medallist Jessica Ennis.
“Community spirit is always great in our stores, but making a fuss of things like the Olympics helps a lot,” he said.
“Business during the first week of the Olympics was quite disappointing. The opening ceremony was fantastic in terms of sales, but after that they petered out as people stayed away, put off by the traffic restrictions and fears of crowds.”
Londis, Weymouth, Dorset
“Sales and footfall have both increased thanks to our sports-themed promotional activity. With kids on their school summer holidays it’s been a great time to welcome families in.”
Mace, Dalston, London
“We’re just two Tube stops from Stratford yet didn’t notice any sales uplift at all. Sales have been exactly the same as they always are, although we expected that.”
Spar, Walthamstow, London