‘Ramadan rush’ boosts UK retail sales
- 31st July 2014
- Business & Economy
Ramadan is becoming an increasingly important element of the British retail calendar with brands such as Primark and Harrods reaping rich rewards.
As religious holiday of Eid-al-Fitr comes to a close and gifts are exchanged, some UK retailers are likely to be enjoying a considerable boost from higher spending during Ramadan.
A report in the Wall Street Journal finds that the holy month has brought shoppers into high-end stores across the UK, and especially in London, for some time. Indeed, luxury stores like Harvey Nichols tell the news provider that they bring in top stylists from key markets in Islamic countries such as Dubai and Kuwait to help UK staff understand the specific needs and preferences of these customers. Harrods offers cultural training and Arabic-speaking sales assistants.
However, the report shows that an ever-larger range of retailers are benefiting from an influx of Muslim consumers.
Whether visiting the UK from overseas for a special shopping trip or simply UK-based shoppers hitting the high street, Muslims hunting down Eid gifts are impacting a much wider range of stores. Indeed, Primark and Marks and Spencer are among the high-street retailers noticing a seasonal boost.
It isn’t clear why mid-market and low-end companies are attracting more interests from these visitors, but the Journal suggests that customers are seeking out basic, casual clothes. Of course, the strong pull of the British brand may be too much to resist.
Especially in London, retailers are now paying more attention to efforts to target Muslim shoppers throughout Ramadan and Eid, while some retailers are actively timing their sales to coincide with the period when consumers are starting to buy gifts for family and friends.
Yet there are also opportunities for retailers as shoppers stock up before the month of fasting. Figures from Global Blue reported in Retail Week found that UK stores will see a rise of 28 per cent in sales to Middle Eastern tourists in the month leading up to the start of Ramadan.
The highest average spenders from that region, Qataris, spent an average of £1,340 per transaction. What’s more, Visit Britain recently found that tourists from the Middle East were twice as likely to spend money on clothes and shoes as the average visitor, and that the typical visitor from Kuwait injects £4,000 to the UK economy during their stay. The spending power from Muslim tourists is not to be underestimated.
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