The Easter weekend has been and gone so that means it’s officially summer, right? As we wave goodbye to spring, we can’t wait for the proper summer season to start. And in retail, there are plenty of opportunities to take advantage of. According to the Office for National Statistics, retail sales saw a growth of 3.4% in the months of June to August 2018, when compared with previous months in the year.
We rounded up some key moments to look forward to in 2019 in a previous blog post, so this is our chance to dive deeper into the summer-specific dates. We’ll also be presenting more statistics from last year’s summer in retail.
Here’s what to expect for the coming months:
5th May – 4th June: Ramadan
Ramadan is worth a massive £200m per year to UK retail, according to TrendJackers. At the end of Ramadan, the celebration of Eid involves gift-giving, parties with family and friends and dining together – of course, this is great news for retail brands. If your brand or store isn’t engaging with the Muslim community on the run-up to Eid during Ramadan, you could be missing out on a lucrative economy.
A report by Ogilvy, a global advertising agency based in London, revealed some interesting insights. The agency carried out a survey on the UK Muslim community, with 78% saying they would ‘be interested in retailers or brands who provided tailored Ramadan offerings’. However, as it stands, 2/3 of those surveyed think that brands are not appealing to the market particularly well.
This is a massive holiday (almost 8 weeks!) with a huge consumer base and we recommend that brands look more closely at their strategy around this time. More specifically, focus on bulk buying promotions to target those dining with family over this festive period.
16th June – Father’s Day
On the other hand, Father’s Day is well-covered and engaged with by brands and retailers. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take advantage – it’s still a huge celebration with a UK-wide consumer base.
Statistics from Leeds-based marketing agency Savvy suggested that last year’s Fathers Day reached sales of £799m. However, 70% of the shoppers Savvy surveyed are apparently ‘bored’ with the current offering of products for this holiday. This looks like a great opportunity for brands to start thinking outside the box and move away from cliché gifts.
In case you were wondering, the age demographic most likely to shop for Father’s Day is 35-44, with 18-24 following in at a close second. Unsurprisingly, 56% of shoppers are female.
July-August: Summer holidays
One of the biggest events of the summer for the UK is the long break that schools, colleges and universities get. There’s a whole six week period where families are going to be enjoying days out, going for picnics, spending money on holiday clothes and a whole host of activities that could be good news for retailers.
According to IGD, 60% of shoppers with children will switch up their purchasing habits during the summer holidays so it’s definitely worth considering how this period can affect retail sales. Apparently, over 20% of parents will buy a lot more freezer food than usual to keep grocery costs down over the summer. In addition, snacks and lunch foods see an increase in sales as children are more spending more time at home, therefore consuming more food throughout the day.
Obviously, BBQ and picnic food items gain popularity over the months of July to August but this is especially dependant on the weather. It also may not surprise you to know that healthier and fresher foods are consumed more over the summer, with 47% of shoppers admitting to eating ‘better’ during this time.
We suggest retailers and brands focus their efforts on flexibility for parents and last-minute plans due to the weather, as well as concentrating on fresh and light foods.
August: Back-to-school campaigns
Next, of course, comes the back to school season. This starts around July and reaches its peak in August, giving parents time to stock up on new uniform, supplies and other bits they might need for September. Channel Advisor recommends starting your back-to-school strategy early to attract as many shoppers as possible – the earlier people buy, the more they’re going to buy.
Mintel found that we spend nearly £1 billion on back-to-school shopping in Britain! This divides up into five categories: uniforms (including shoes), sportswear, bags/laptop cases, stationery and other (including lunch boxes and computer equipment). On uniform alone, Brits spent £436 million in 2017.
Summer 2019 is nearly upon us and we can’t wait to see what some of the UK’s retailers have in store. If you need assistance with putting an effective strategy in place to take advantage of these key moments across the summer months, don’t hesitate to get in touch to see how our team can help.