The college holidays have arrived, Parliament is in recess until 5 September and London has wound down seriously to slumber away the summertime months. Or has it? Simply how much effect do the summertime holidays have on London businesses? Well, in reality, London is this type of culturally rich and diverse city that the results of holidays vary from business to business. However there are always a few common themes such as for instance:
Whilst Transport for London and the Mayor’s office are constantly taking care of schemes to lessen congestion caused by the school run, in term time our roads, buses and tubes are affected by school transport. In the school holidays this congestion is noticeably less on some routes. This means that businesses which count on transport and deliveries may need to work to a different schedule in term and holiday time with the reduced travel amount of time in christmas resulting in cost savings.
Pubs, restaurants & cafes
Places to eat in London tend to be divided between those serving an area population and those catering for tourists or business people childrens holiday clubs. Each one of these sectors is affected differently by summer holidays. Those catering for business are most affected by holidays due to the combined affects of business people taking time off to be with children alongside a reduction in business meetings.
Considering places catering for tourists, there were 26.2 million staying visitors in London in 2010 with total London tourism receipts amounting to £11.2 billion. International visitors tended to remain for 6.1 days spending £593 whilst those visiting from within the UK stayed for 2.1 days spending £217. Overseas tourism is often slightly skewed to the summertime with 29% residing in July & August and this taken alongside domestic tourists helps to take up a few of the slack from Londoners moving out of the capital in the summertime months.
When it comes to local eateries these be seemingly the maximum amount of affected by the elements while the holidays. The Coffer Peach Business Tracker makes some interesting observations in its overview of the Easter Holidays. Alongside the comment that “Our research across the season highlights the big positive effect that school holidays are experiencing on trade, particularly with people residing in the UK” it notes that the elements also plays its part. Hot days often favour pubs or staying at home with a barbeque whilst wet days favour indoor attractions and visits to restaurants.
Companies offering business services from printing to marketing, office fitments to consultancy often factor August within their business plans as a dead month. The mixture of warmer weather and staff holidays contributes to decisions being postponed or even not considered until September arrives. “Starting in September” and “I’ll get back to you in September” are normal themes. Even networking tends to decrease with many business networks not bothering to put up August meetings.
The “Back again to School” effect
Sell children’s clothing or stationery and August can end up being the busiest month of the year. Although pencils can be purchased at any time the temptation to take up a new school year with a new set is overwhelming. Trousers and skirts that just lasted the summertime term need replacing and winter shoes are on the list in anticipation of bad weather to come. Even the major London shops come in on the act with some already having unveiled their Christmas displays built to attract the summertime tourist.