England may be out, but Walkabout and O'Neills are among the big World Cup winners

Raina Uppal
England fans have packed out pubs across the country during the World Cup (Source: Getty)

Buzzing fans, stirred up by the World Cup fever, have swarmed to shops and pubs throughout the country, according to new data published today, with Walkabout and O’Neills among the biggest winners.

Among supermarkets the first knockout week was dominated by Morrisons, Aldi and Co-op, with all three experiencing a notable 30 per cent increase compared to the previous week, figures from payments firm Cardlytics show.

Sainsbury’s and Asda also enjoyed sales increases of 2.3 per cent and 2.2 per cent respectively.

Although England’s World Cup journey came to an end on Wednesday in a nail-biting extra-time loss to Croatia, the data show that the UK’s high street shops have been among the big World Cup winners, while British consumers’ wallets have been paying the penalties.

It’s a knockout for pubs

Pubs performed their best during the knockout stages as excitement built: pub and bar sales increased by 15 per cent in that week and the top five sports pubs, including Walkabout and O’Neills, experienced a 35.8 per cent boost during the initial knockout stages compared to the week before.

Duncan Smith, commercial director at Cardlytics, said: “Football fans have become a huge consumer group, particularly during big-ticket events such as the World Cup. Our data show the British high street economy has been one of the main beneficiaries of this year’s tournament during an otherwise challenging period.

“In particular, pubs and bars have led the charge, with spend peaking during the week of England’s first knockout game against Colombia.”

Scot or not?

It is a truth universally acknowledged that football is the pastime which unites the UK, but separate data from Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) suggest that even Scotland fans were behind England during the World Cup. RBS has seen a huge 70 per cent increase in the number of debit card transactions in Russia over the course of the World Cup when compared to a normal day outside of the tournament.

Haydn Williams, head of RBS current accounts said, “Could this be Scotland fans secretly supporting England during the World Cup – or perhaps they have been there supporting Tunisia, Panama, Belgium, Colombia, Sweden and Croatia?”

England fans will rue their football team’s inability to deliver like Domino’s. In the restaurant category, pizza chains were the clear winners during the group and knockout stages, with fans choosing to opt for a crowd pleaser. Domino’s and Papa John’s both saw a jump in sales in the first two weeks of the World Cup compared to the prior two weeks, and outperformed traditional delivery services by nearly three times during the knockout week, Cardlytics said.

Read more: Never mind who wins, the World Cup is a treasure trove for economists

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