The figures are in and we’ve already heard from some of the UK’s most prominent retailers about how they fared as a result of the special four day weekend we were given to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. So, following on from our pre-Jubilee post, did the celebrations bring the long-awaited return to the high street that we’d hoped for?

The British Retail Consortium’s latest news headlined with ‘Jubilee Saves June for Retailers’. Its June figures showed that sales, on a like-for-like basis, increased by 1.4%compared with the previous year, and total sales increased by 3.5%. Grocery and clothing sales did particularly well as we dressed for the festivities, bought in party food and alcohol. We’ve also heard from the likes of Thorntons and Wetherspoon recently, both reporting that sales were boosted as a result of the Jubilee.

However, there are always two sides to every story and as the celebrations energised retail at the start of June, the impetus had trailed off towards the end of the month as we went on to experience the wettest June on record. We’ve also heard that JJB Sports and the M&S clothing line sales have both suffered in recent months.

We, along with many of those working in the world of retail anticipate that the Olympics will give us another welcome boost, particularly around the South East of the country. Of course, soon after this major event is over, Christmas will be closing in and fairy lights will replace bunting across the high street.

So what does this tell us? Occasions such as Easter, the Jubilee, Euro 2012, the London Olympics lift consumer confidence, give us additional incentive to shop, and, mainly, retail benefits. However we must not lose sight of the fact that the repercussions are fleeting and, as we’ve seen in the latest figures for June, shopping habits soon resume normality.  But as we continue to face a turbulent climate special occasions, seasonality and extended holidays may just give some retailers the lift they need to stay afloat.

Let’s hope there’s more to come in 2013.

Sue Benson