Jul 24, 2013

    Royal-baby lift for UK stores

    BRITISH companies can expect a temporary boost from the birth of Prince William and wife Kate's baby, as souvenirs and champagne fly off the shelves and tourists flock to the country, business leaders and analysts said yesterday.

    Retail sales could see an increase of £243 million (S$472 million) due to the baby boy's arrival, based partly on the experiences of the couple's wedding in 2011 and the diamond jubilee marking Queen Elizabeth II's reign last year, analysts said.

    "If the...royal wedding and the jubilee are anything to go by, this good news should also bring about a temporary "baby boost" for retailers in (Britain)," said Ms Helen Dickinson, director-general of the British Retail Consortium.

    "It will undoubtedly bump up sales of baby products, souvenirs and brands favoured by the new royal parents."

    The birth will also provide a "temporary lift in the general mood" at a time of broader economic gloom and austerity under Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservative-led government.

    International consumers may also be more likely to visit British brands' websites and overseas stores, said Ms Dickinson.

    IHS Global Insight analyst Howard Archer said that, while there was huge global interest in the birth of the new third in line to the British throne, the economic impact would be "limited - albeit overwhelmingly positive".

    "The royal birth may provide the economy with a temporary, small boost at a time when it seems to be...moving in the right direction," Mr Archer said.