The institution holidays have arrived, Parliament is in recess until 5 September and London has wound down to slumber away the summertime months. Or has it? The amount of effect do the summertime holidays have on London businesses? Well, in truth, London is such a culturally rich and diverse city that the results of holidays vary from business to business. However there are a few common themes such as for example:
Whilst Transport for London and the Mayor’s office are constantly working on schemes to lessen congestion caused by the institution run, school holiday clubs in term time our roads, buses and tubes are affected by school transport. In the institution holidays this congestion is noticeably less on some routes. Which means that businesses which depend on transport and deliveries might have to work to some other schedule in term and holiday time with the reduced travel time in christmas resulting in cost savings.
Pubs, restaurants & cafes
Places to consume in London are generally divided between those serving an area population and those catering for tourists or business people. 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 lowering of business meetings.
Taking a look at places catering for tourists, there have been 26.2 million staying visitors in London in 2010 with total London tourism receipts amounting to £11.2 billion. International visitors tended to stay for 6.1 days spending £593 whilst those visiting from within the UK stayed for 2.1 days spending £217. Overseas tourism tends to be slightly skewed to the summertime with 29% remaining in July & August and this taken alongside domestic tourists helps you to use up a number of the slack from Londoners moving out from the capital in the summertime months.
When it comes to local eateries these seem to be as much affected by the current weather because the holidays. The Coffer Peach Business Tracker makes some interesting observations in its report on the Easter Holidays. Alongside the comment that “Our research across the year highlights the big positive effect that school holidays are receiving on trade, particularly with people remaining in the UK” it notes that the current weather also plays its part. Hot days have a tendency to 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 have a tendency to factor August to their business plans as a dead month. The mixture of warmer weather and staff holidays results in decisions being postponed as well as not considered until September arrives. “Starting in September” and “I’ll get back in September” are common themes. Even networking tends to decrease with many business networks not bothering to hold August meetings.
The “Back once 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 begin a new school year with a brand 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.