World Cup goal for businesses

WHILE some people are dreaming of David Beckham lifting the World Cup trophy, businesses in Suffolk are hoping to get their hands on a different kind of gold.

WHILE some people are dreaming of David Beckham lifting the World Cup trophy, businesses in Suffolk are hoping to get their hands on a different kind of gold.

For retailers and landlords are preparing to capitalise on the fever surrounding the tournament to kick off their profits.

Whether it is decorating their premises with a flag from every single country taking part or holding special World Cup barbeques, all manner of gimmicks have been dreamt up to get people in the patriotic, and competitive, spirit.

And Shaun de Silva, chairman of Ipswich Pubwatch, said some venues could be in line for as much as a 50% rise in takings.


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The owner of the Brewers Arms and Freemasons pubs said the figure could have gone even higher if the eagerly-awaited competition for world glory was not screened on terrestrial television, as more people would go out to pubs to see the matches.

He said: “I think the majority of pubs that are well-known sporting venues will meet that 50% boost in profits. I would imagine other outlets that have just got their TV showing the matches might increase their trade by around 20%.

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“It's entirely up to them how they capitalise on the event. Some rural pubs have a massive following of youngsters who might want to go and watch the matches and celebrate.

“Other rural pubs won't be. They might be food-orientated pubs or those without TVs but there are some people who do not want to watch football so they will benefit too.”

John Dugmore, chief executive of the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, said the retail industry, pubs and restaurants were taking advantage of the four-yearly event.

He said: “We're going through a beautiful hot sunny period and with some of the England matches kicking off mid-afternoon I'm sure the local pubs and clubs that are putting it on will do well.

“Some pubs are putting on World Cup barbeques at the weekends. They are coming up with some great ideas so they can benefit from the football.”

But he said other companies could find their staff want time off when the matches are scheduled.

“The absence rate during nine to five is going to be headache for some employers,” he said.

“But what businesses have got to look at is extending goodwill to their employees. It's about putting in place initiatives to accommodate the impact that World Cup fever is going to have.

“From a business point of view it might mean having on-site access to televisions or time off in lieu. It's just about being flexible.”

Bill Bulstrode, who owns a Framlingham shop selling everything from carpets to sports wear, has fixed 32 flags from each country in the tournament to the roof of his premises.

He said some World Cup products he ordered, including massive England flags, had already sold out.

“You never know what people are going to buy when they come into the shop so hopefully the flags entice them in for other things,” he said. “It definitely brings people into the shop and it gets us noticed.”

Don Henshall, business portfolio holder at Colchester Borough Council, said he could forsee extra retail spending resulting from the feel-good factor associated with the tournament.

“The merchandising will make a lot of money. Lots of people are buying shirts. If we do well - and we've done well to get there - it will be particularly noticeable.

“With the recent tremendous success of Colchester United, there should be a very good atmosphere in the town.”

Meanwhile, with the amount of rubbish expected to increase during the World Cup because of all the extra cans and bottles, a national recycling campaign has been launched in time for England's match against Paraguay.

Andrew Nunn, cabinet member at Suffolk Coastal District Council, said: “The household waste we produce increases noticeably during major sporting events, so the start of the World Cup is an ideal time to remind everyone in our district to make recycling their goal this summer.”

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