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Confident consumers to set tills ringing in advance of London 2012

Sales of TVs, laptops and barbecues set to rise due to the games.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Confident consumers to set tills ringing in advance of London 2012

Britons excited by the Olympics are more optimistic about the state of the economy and are preparing to make big-ticket purchases to improve their enjoyment of the Games.

With a month to go until the opening ceremony, new research from GfK shows that UK consumers who admit to being ‘excited’ by London 2012 are twice as likely to think the economy will improve this year compared to those who don’t care about the Games.1 Significantly, double the number of people ‘excited’ by the Olympics also believe their household finances will improve in the next twelve months compared to those who are uninterested and indifferent.2
 
The findings show that while the majority of the population are not yet excited by the Olympics, significant numbers of the 14.7 million who are excited by the Games are planning to make purchases specifically to enhance their enjoyment of London 2012.3 Around 1.6 million (11%) of them are considering buying a new TV to watch the Games, while the rise in online streaming sees almost 900,000 consumers thinking of buying a new laptop (6%). Olympic consumers’ positive attitude also appears to stretch to optimism about the weather, as more than a million are likely to buy barbecue gear for the festivities (7%).4
 
Pam Armstrong of GfK says: “While the majority of UK consumers still claim to not be excited about the Olympics, we expect this to build as we get closer. Those consumers who are enthused by the Games are more likely to spend over the course of the summer, opening up a major and lucrative group for retailers in otherwise difficult economic circumstances. As the Games draw nearer it will be interesting to see how many people shift from being indifferent to excited and the positive impact this has on sales.”
 
However, the research does challenge the assertion that London 2012 will economically benefit the country as a whole by finding that consumers’ Olympic enthusiasm fades the further away they are from the capital. While consumers in London and the south of England enjoy relatively high levels of excitement (37% in London, 31% in the South East, 30% in East Anglia) northern regions and Scotland experience significantly less (25% in Yorkshire & Humber, 22% in the North East and 21% in Scotland).
 
Armstrong continues: “There is a splatter pattern to the beneficial effects of London 2012, with some noticeable regional discrepancies throughout the UK. It has long been assumed that the Olympics would add a much-needed bounce to the British economy and our overall findings give some support to this. The closer you are to the capital the more likely you are to be positive about the Olympics and plan to spend money to enjoy them.”

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