Olympics boost falls short of expectations

Retailers that targeted Olympics visitors have benefited most from the Games, according to research from Deloitte.

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A survey of 100 large businesses in London showed that despite some increase in demand for retailers, tourism and hospitality companies the overall benefit from the Games was lower than expected.

Tourism and hospitality companies were the biggest beneficiaries, with 68% reporting an increase in demand. However, this compared with 80% who believed they would experience a Games boost when asked in January. Among retailers, 59% reported an uplift, compared with 84% who expected an increase in January.

However, the survey revealed that the majority of the increased demand came from new customers, tourists in London for the Games , with 77% of retailers reporting an increase from visitors compared with 27% saying they’ve seen increased demand from existing customers.

Mark Naysmith, Games readiness director at Deloitte, says: “Our research indicates that where there has been a boost in demand, it appears to have come from tourists in London for the Games rather than Londoners spending more than usual.  Consumer businesses have targeted these visitors in a number of ways such as changing opening hours to better suit the times people would be leaving Olympic events, or holding special events to attract people into store. 

“Some companies used publicly available transport data to map their stores against busy tube stations or the houses of national Olympic committees, allowing them to consider whether they need to increase staff numbers and stock or even bring in people with certain language skills to cater for high numbers of tourists from a given country.”

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