Supermarkets to close early if England makes World Cup final
Aldi and Lidl will close an hour early at 3pm across England to give staff and shoppers time to get home for kick off.
Some supermarkets are to close their doors early amid signs of a quiet Sunday afternoon on the High Street if England make it through to the World Cup final.
In the event of a win against Croatia on Wednesday, Aldi and Lidl stores across England will close early at 3pm on Sunday, an hour before kick-off.
Lidl UK chief executive Christian Hartnagel said: “As the official supermarket of the England football team, we absolutely believe it’s coming home, which is why we are planning to close stores an hour early, and take part in what we hope will become a day of national celebration.”
As the *official* supermarket of the England Football team, let's make *this* announcement official... *when* our boys make it to the final this Sunday, it will be early doors across our English stores. #3pmClosing#ItsComingHome pic.twitter.com/k81iDwxRGt— Lidl UK (@LidlUK) July 9, 2018
Lidl said it had experienced its highest ever footfall during the tournament and was preparing for “another bumper weekend” with more warm weather ahead.
The Wimbledon men’s singles final is scheduled for its usual 2pm start on Sunday afternoon.
Aldi’s UK chief executive Giles Hurley said: “With the final scheduled to kick off at 4pm on the Sunday afternoon, we want to make sure that, if England make it that far, our team have time to finish work and get home to watch the match, just like everyone else.”
We’re pretty sure it’s coming home right? 🏴 If England reach the World Cup Final we’re gonna close all our stores in England early at 3pm on Sunday 15th July. We want our colleagues to be the 12th man cheering on the lads. #BringItHome pic.twitter.com/3RjNJkdTeH— Aldi Stores UK (@AldiUK) July 9, 2018
Figures suggest the early closures are likely to be of little concern to shoppers, with footfall on the high street down 18.9% during England’s quarter final clash with Sweden on Saturday afternoon.
Dr Tim Denison, director of retail intelligence at Ipsos Retail Performance, said: “Saturday’s big day of sporting events quelled shopping activity on the high street, with the number of shoppers in non-food stores down 18.9% on the previous Saturday.
“Although this is obviously a great time for the national side as World Cup fever sweeps the nation, it’s damaging for non-food retailers.
“The same is certainly not true for grocery sales, which would have jumped by 30% or more on the previous Saturday thanks to BBQs and parties being the order of the day.”
Based on last week’s figures, Tesco is predicting it will sell around four million burgers, more than 50 million bottles and cans of beer and cider, 25,000 electric fans and almost 70,000 disposable barbecues as the celebratory atmosphere continues.
Tesco ice cream buying manager Sonia Morland said: “The all too rare combination of Mediterranean weather and England progressing to the last four of the World Cup has created a contagious feelgood factor that is sweeping the country.
“Many people have switched their shopping habits and are continuing to enjoy barbecues in their gardens, as they make the most of the fantastic weather.”
Meanwhile, Marks & Spencer is encouraging the nation to support the team by wearing waistcoats on “#waistcoatwednesday” in a nod to Gareth Southgate’s pitch-side attire.
The Three Lions manager has sported a navy blue Marks & Spencer one throughout England’s run to the World Cup semi-finals in Russia, which has led to increased sales and more Google searches for the item back home.
M&S said waistcoat sales had doubled since the tournament began on June 14, with website searches up by over 100%.
Shopworkers union Usdaw said: “Usdaw urges employers to be as flexible as possible with staff wanting to support England and watch their next two games.
“World Cup success is such a big matter for England fans, it would a real shame if any were to miss it coming home.”