UK high streets hoping for £290 million summer sales boost

10 August 2016

Retailers on the UK High Street could be in for a £290 million a week boost in sales if the 2016 weather improves before the end of the summer.

High street sales hot up when the weather temperature rises and a late summer heatwave could give the economy a major shot in the arm boost, says new research. In a new report, Co-op predicts that the British economy could be boosted by as much as £290 million a week [PDF 1MB] if the weather improves.

In-depth analysis reveals that the weather really does lead to high street sale peaks and troughs, and when the mercury rises – so do sales, while a dip in temperatures decreases sales where the variance can be up to ten per cent.

A study of Co-op sales data shows sales peak when the UK enjoys hotter weather. Last summer, Co-op saw sales rise by 10 percent when the average temperature rose above 21 degrees. The trend was also evident the year before, when temperatures averaged 20 degrees, boosting sales by 10 percent again.  With an average weekly spend at UK food retailers of £2.9billion, this could increase sales by £290 million per week.

In comparison, sales dipped during the summer’s coldest weeks.

Steve Murrells, Chief Executive of Retail at Co-op, said:

“During the hottest weeks we can expect to see like for like sales jump by up to 230% on lettuces, 375% on baby plum tomatoes and up to 150% on raspberries – great news for British farmers.

“It is a challenge for food retailers to ensure that we are ahead of the weather and have the right products in stock at the right time: shoppers quite rightly expect that their local convenience store will have the food they want: whatever the weather.”

Co-op deodorant sales surge by up to 50% during hot days as shoppers battle the heat when out and about, whilst consumers switch from buying ice cream to ice lollies when the temperature reaches 30 Celsius.

A spokesperson from weather forecasters MetraWeather said:

“The latest monthly forecast signals temperatures just below average overall during August, though the variations we’ve seen so far are likely to continue, with cooler spells interspersed by a few days of higher temperatures.”