Retailers expect Jubilee sales bonanza

Three fifths (60 per cent) of small- to medium-sized businesses in the UK are expecting to see revenues rise this quarter, when compared to the same period last year, partly thanks this week’s Royal Jubilee bank holiday celebrations, according to the latest quarterly Barclays SME Barometer.

On average, SMEs expect to see a 10.4 per cent sales rise between the months of April and June, with those in the hospitality and leisure sector predicting a 34.7 per cent increase.

Barclays says the Jubilee is expected to boost independent pubs, bars and restaurants to the tune of £76 million on Thursday 2nd June and Friday 3rd June, with 49 per cent of them predicting a sales rise.

Barclays said the predicted boost in revenue is welcome news for small businesses who are facing a number of challenges, including rising inflation, fuel and energy price increases and a difficulty in hiring new workers.

Over half of SMEs (51 per cent) worry that rising costs will negatively impact consumer spending, and a quarter (28 per cent) fear they will make them less competitive as they are forced to increase their own prices.

Colin O’Flaherty, head of SME at Barclaycard Payments, said: “The Jubilee will provide a welcome and much needed confidence boost to many SMEs, as consumers look to celebrate, support local businesses and make the most of the four-day weekend.”

Despite the challenging business environment, 87 per cent of SMEs say they are planning to invest in their firms over the next 12 months, including hiring more staff and buying new equipment and technology.

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