Queen’s jubilee expected to give £6bn boost to UK retail and hospitality

The jubilee weekend is expected to deliver a £6bn-plus boost to high streets and hospitality businesses as Britons take advantage of the four-day break to splash out on street parties and nights out.

Revellers are expected to spend more than £2bn on food and drink supplies alone, while pubs, bars and restaurants are hoping to ring up almost £3bn in sales, research suggests, as the two bank holidays combine with half-term breaks for most schools in England and Wales.

About a fifth of the population plans to join a street party, the report from Opinium and Vouchercodes found, with around £600m expected to be spent on decorations and memorabilia as retailers tempt shoppers with the questionable delights of Queen-shaped gnomes, corgi balloons and union flag bunting.

The platinum anniversary has prompted a carriage load of themed gear to cash in on the party atmosphere after more than two years of pandemic-imposed restrictions have kept friends and families apart. Laura Ashley said sales of its cake stands and dinner sets had more than quadrupled this week as households prepared for gatherings.

Meanwhile Pets at Home recorded a 31% increase in sales of pet party treats such as “pawty cakes” and “garden party dog food” flavoured with strawberries and vegetables as well as chicken.

Despite concerns for family budgets amid hefty rises in energy bills and the cost of the weekly shop, the long weekend is expected to prompt an 8% rise in visitors to retail destinations in the week up to the bank holiday weekend, according to analysts at shopper monitoring group Springboard, with high streets and shopping centres faring best.

UKHospitality, the , the British Beer and Pub Association and Hospitality Ulster said they were expecting almost £400m more to be spent in pubs, bars, restaurants and other hospitality venues than during a normal Thursday to Sunday in May.

“We sense there’s a real pent up desire among the population to get out and enjoy itself,” the trade organisations said in a joint statement. They added that businesses continued to face huge cost increases, a staff crisis and rising rent repayments but the four days would “do wonders for income and for employee morale”.

“At last, our beleaguered sector is able to look forward to the sort of trading period that will give it a massive boost as it sets out on the long road to post-pandemic recovery,” the four bodies said.

Supermarkets had already enjoyed a boost in the run-up to half-term as food sales rose in the week to 21 May after months of declines according to market analysts Nielsen.

Lisa Hooker at advisory firm PwC said: “Despite the significant drop in consumer confidence shown by our most recent consumer sentiment survey, a difficult couple of years combined with the feel good factor of celebrating with family and friends could see positive results for grocers leading up to and across the platinum jubilee weekend.”