The college holidays have arrived, Parliament is in recess until 5 September and London has wound down to slumber away summer time months. Or has it? Simply how much effect do summer time holidays have on London businesses? Well, in truth, London is this kind of culturally rich and diverse city that the consequences of holidays vary from business to business. However there are certainly a few common themes such as for instance:
Whilst Transport for London and the Mayor’s office are constantly taking care of schemes to reduce congestion brought on by the college run, in term time our roads, buses and tubes are affected by school transport. In the college holidays this congestion is noticeably less on some routes. Which 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 time in the holiday season leading to 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 childrens holiday camps. All these sectors is affected differently by summer holidays. Those catering for business are most suffering from holidays due to the combined affects of business people taking time off to be with children alongside a reduction in business meetings.
Taking a look at 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 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 summer time with 29% remaining in July & August and this taken alongside domestic tourists helps you to use up a few of the slack from Londoners moving out from the capital in summer time months.
As it pertains to local eateries these appear to be the maximum amount of suffering from the weather since the holidays. The Coffer Peach Business Tracker makes some interesting observations in its review of 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 weather also plays its part. Hot days often favour pubs or staying acquainted 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 into their business plans as a dead month. The mixture of warmer weather and staff holidays contributes to 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 has a tendency to slow down with many business networks not bothering to put on August meetings.
The “Back once again to School” effect
Sell children’s clothing or stationery and August can show to be the busiest month of the year. Although pencils are available whenever you want the temptation to take up a new school year with a brand new set is overwhelming. Trousers and skirts that just lasted summer time term need replacing and winter shoes are on the list in anticipation of bad weather to come. Even the major London department stores come in on the act with some already having unveiled their Christmas displays built to attract summer time tourist.