World Cup 2018: What’s the traffic impact?

June 13, 2018 ByStaff


Russia’s President Vladimir Putin is hoping FIFA World Cup 2018 (June 14th to July 15th) will showcase Russia as a global superpower, and attract tourists and shopper spend to invigorate the economy.  While benefits to retail and the hospitality sectors in Russia are all but guaranteed, will there be commercial wins for the rest of the world as fans scramble to catch the action? Specifically, how can retailers maximise the opportunities Russia 2018 presents?

A great deal depends on how well individual teams perform. Being knocked out in the early group stage will lessen the likelihood of retail traffic and sales spikes for stores selling World Cup-related product, because interest in watching matches drops off when teams bomb. That said, our data from World Cup 2014 shows that the day after a European national team was knocked out, general retail traffic was up +3.41% on the average – the silver lining of national humiliation on the pitch.

World Cup success has been known to generate an economic boost, and retailers will be pinning their hopes on glory on the world stage, which tends to trigger parties and souvenir buying by jubilant fans. Just before World Cup 2014 in the UK estimated that the tournament would trigger a £1.3bn spending frenzy if England made it through to the second round. And if England made the final, spending would increase to £2.58bn – goal!

They didn’t, but regardless of a disappointing performance from England, World Cup 2014 did stimulate £335m in UK retail sales of food and drink during the World Cup season, according to industry stats.

Plan around critical match times

Planning will by key to store success this time around. Remember that differing kick-off times will affect European nations’ shopping habits in different ways. For example, in 2014 Italy’s first match began at midnight in Italian time. ShopperTrak data shows that as a result, many Italian fans chose to watch the match at home, and pick up supplies during the day. This led to an 11.8% retail footfall improvement week-on-week and 9.5% year-on-year.

Looking back to a trend that emerged during South Africa 2010 is also interesting. ShopperTrak data shows that daytime matches during this World Cup caused an average European year-on-year footfall decrease of -24.6%, while during tournament ‘rest days’ traffic was up +30.6% YoY.

Data-insight driven retail groups will have crunched their past sales and traffic data to build up a clear picture of what to expect during Russia 2018, factoring in match times, impact of team success or failure, weather predictions and World-Cup marketing plans.

Fill stores with World Cup wonder

It helps to consider the kinds of customer experience being offered and whether it chimes with World Cup shopper needs. Those in a rush to get home to catch the match will crave convenience, so make sure you use interior analytics data to finesse traffic flow, and provide checkouts that are easy to access, and resourced with the right number of staff when stores are likely to get busy.

If you are merchandising stores with novelty clothing ranges and football-themed homewares, games and gifts, use interior analytics to position them in the optimum position in stores, with stock aligned to traffic expectations.

Remember that sharing snacks, easy-ready-meals, and quick grab items will all be in demand, so need to be displayed prominently for maximum sales at peak times. If you’re running special World Cup related store events or product promotions, you can benchmark success and use insights for future similar events.

If you’re ready to embrace the benefits of retail traffic analytics to maximise sales opportunities during key calendar events, visit Sensormatic’s Retail Traffic Insights.



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