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Royal wedding retail sales hike predicted

A significant boost in retail sales has been forecast for the UK economy as a result of this weekend’s upcoming wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

Based on the 6.31% increase in monthly like-for-like retail sales and 17% in weekly sales that resulted from the Prince William’s wedding to Kate Middleton in April 2011, KPMG UK has said, “this weekend will mark a prime opportunity to fly the flag for Brand Britain.”

Chief economist at KPMG Yael Selfin said: “The royal wedding will mark a happy occasion, and an opportunity for people in Britain to celebrate. While it may encourage some rise in spending by UK consumers – particularly in areas such as fashion and merchandising, as well as food and drink – the overall impact on the UK economy is likely to be small.

“One of the more significant boosts to the UK economy will come from a rise in tourism, particularly given Meghan Markle’s American background. Coupled with the weak pound and a strong US economy, we are likely to see a jump in US tourism spend this summer.”

Year on year, on a like-for-like basis, the latest BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor recorded the sharpest sales drop in non-food retail sales for nine years in the three months to 28 April.

UK head of consumer markets at KPMG Linda Ellett said: “If we look to the impact on tourism, ONS statistics recorded that 30.8 million overseas residents visited the UK the year of the last royal wedding – a boost of 3.3% on the previous year. Businesses of all shapes and sizes will no doubt be poised and ready to capture the increased footfall.

“The hope, of course, is that we don’t only see an uptick now, but visitors go on to recommend a trip to our shores when they are back on home turf.”

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