Posted: Thu 2nd Jun 2022
With a four-day weekend to mark the Queen's 70 years on the throne, many small businesses will be benefitting from a much needed increase in sales.
Times have been tough for small firms over the past few years with the coronavirus pandemic and the cost of living crisis taking their toll. But during the long bank holiday for the Platinum Jubilee, founders look forward to ringing tills, full restaurants and a rush for royal themed merchandise.
Hospitality and retail are key sectors that are set to benefit. Helped by extended hours in bars and restaurants, research by money saving website Voucher Codes predicted that £2.9bn will be spent in hospitality venues during the four day weekend, including, according to the British Beer and Pub Association, the consumption of 90 million pints. Total retail spend is expected to reach £3.47bn.
Separate research by Barclays found independent pubs, bars and restaurants are will enjoy a boost worth £76m with 45% of hospitality and leisure SMEs that are open across the weekend expecting to increase their sales for this quarter.
On average, SMEs in all industries predict a 10.4% rise between April and June 2022 compared to the same period in 2021, with hospitality and leisure firms hoping for a 34.7% increase.
In a joint statement, UKHospitality, the British Institute of Innkeeping, the British Beer and Pub Association and Hospitality Ulster said:
"There are still lots of hurdles that businesses have to clear on the way back to profitability — huge cost increases, a staffing crisis, rising Covid rent repayments and too much red tape — but these four days will do wonders for income and for employee morale.
"It's also a wonderful, celebratory moment for millions of people who’ve been denied the opportunity to socialise with friends and family for far too long, and we sense there’s a real pent-up desire among the population to get out and enjoy itself."
What small businesses are doing for the Platinum Jubilee
To get a flavour of how small businesses are embracing the celebrations we asked some founders to tell us how the Jubilee has boosted sales so far and what benefits they hope to enjoy over the long weekend.
We encourage you to get out and support independent businesses this Jubilee weekend.
“The Jubilee weekend coincided with a monthly promotion I run in my business called 'sit back kick back cupkakery cupcake Friday' or #sbkb for short.
"I didn’t focus on promoting the jubilee directly but rather the long weekend which connected more with my ideal customer.
"I used my monthly promotion to create a treat style box that would include cake and meringues using seasonal fruit such as rhubarb and strawberries as well as including one of the Queens favorite desserts lemon posset.
"I feel this style box would connect with my customers to be enjoyed and shared during the extended weekend.
"Sales have increased for this particular box by at least 60% compared to to the past couple months so I think the impact of the long weekend and the Platinum Jubilee has definitely had a positive effect on sales."
"We have seen an increase in sales ahead of the Jubilee celebrations, and not just of related items. Customers seem to be keen to treat themselves to some pampering such as candles, new clothes, and jewellery. Art in our pop-up gallery is hugely popular, with one artist selling £2,000 worth in her first two weeks exhibiting. After Covid, our already declining high streets suffered even further, so for us as small businesses to be back with a bang is amazing.
"We are open all day Thursday, Friday and Saturday and in the morning on Sunday, because we decided to make the most of the increase in customers on the high street for the Jubilee events. The mood of our shoppers at Pop Up Leatherhead seems to be buoyant and we look forward to a weekend of hard work and many sales celebrating with our customers!"
Kate Tompsett runs Happy & Glorious, a high street gift shop in Cranbrook in Kent:
"2021 was my best year in ten years of trading; there was a sense of relief as people rejoined the physical world of shopping after two years of restrictions. The start of 2022 saw a slight dip, as the cost of living crisis began to take effect. The products I sell at Happy & Glorious are high end items, so very much a luxury!
"I bought the Jubilee collection of ceramics by Victoria Eggs on something of a whim, as I sell British made gifts, it seemed wrong to not have something to commemorate the event. They are expensive, and I was concerned that people would baulk at the price. They are beautifully made, so I took the risk. I have sold out more than once and even have a waiting list for a back order that is arriving in July!
"I have also been selling some Jubilee themed biscuits and tea, and I designed some paper Jubilee bunting. I have sold out repeatedly of the latter, having to work late into the night to make more to fulfil orders. I think people have been very keen to have something to celebrate after such a difficult time, and it has certainly boosted morale in the town of Cranbrook! Over the last five weeks, footfall up was up 2.3% on last year, conversion by 29% and shop takings by 8.7%."
"The Jubilee has made what should have been one of our quieter months into one of the busiest! It's accounting for around an extra 6-7% of sales that so far this year we didn't expect. The last of our orders headed out on Wednesday as we posted and delivered hundreds of custom Platinum Jubilee biscuits and brownies across UK and Ireland."
Rebecca Bishop is founder of Two Magpies Bakery, an independent chain of seven cafes:
“Any big event is always a huge opportunity for small businesses and it's important to make the most of them. As we produce all our own bakes in house we can easily adapt to trends which is why we've been able to introduce so many Jubilee themed items to our menu.
"With sites in Southwold, Nowich, Holt and Aldeburgh, we're well placed to capitalise on the expected increase in sales and tourism and hopefully enjoy an incredibly successful and profitable weekend."
Laura Jane Jackson is director and kernel-in-chief at Popcorn Shed:
"Our Union Jack themed gourmet popcorn products have been flying out the door in May. Whilst our Union Shack (Cherry Bakewell flavour) is always popular in the summertime we have seen record demand in May due to the Queen's Jubilee celebrations and the unprecedented interest in all things British. Our sales are up 28% on these lines compared to the same period last year.
We were due to launch Strawberries & Cream in time for Wimbledon, however, we brought forward the launch of this new flavour in response to the peaked interest in very British flavours. Strawberries and Cream is also performing very well."
Hadi Brooks runs Rays Homemade Ice Cream in Swindon:
"We are expecting a bumper weekend of sales this Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend. Our shop in Swindon's Old Town usually sees an uplift in sales on Bank Holidays, so the prospect of a four-day weekend is quite exciting! People have already been buying big four litre tubs of ice cream for their Street Parties, and smaller tubs for BBQs with friends.
"We're expecting busy days in the shop selling ice cream and waffles with everyone in the party mood. We're also out and about for all four days selling at local events including fun days run by a local parish council and a nearby hotel."
Julianne Ponan is founder of Creative Nature Superfoods:
"Events like the Platinum Jubilee can be a perfect time for small businesses to increase sales and no, I don't mean by just sticking a corgi or the Queen on your product. Think of creative ways of incorporating such an incredible event into your marketing.
"As the Jubilee is going to be very much about high tea we decided to do a bake of themed cakes and every day customers have to answer a question on the Queen which has enabled engagement.
"Launching a new product or testing a new product can be great when a big event is on as it can amplify your sales message."
Farren Morgan is founder of The Tactical Athlete:
"I'm a serving Queen's Guard and founder of The Tactical Athlete, a business that helps people join the uniformed services. The Jubilee period has been massive for me because more people want to join the uniformed services after constantly seeing a sea of red and blue on the TV. I have seen a massive influx in sales over the past six days.
"I am part of the Queen's birthday parade on 2 June and I have a mention in the Queen's Birthday Honours this year for my fitness impact across the British Army. I have also just completed 500 burpees a day in May in celebration of the Queen's 70 years on the throne too."
Alison Bevan is director of Royal West of England Academy (RWA), an art gallery in Bristol that opened in 1844:
"The RWA is Bristol's own Royal Academy of Art. With the Queen as our lead patron, we're celebrating the Jubilee by welcoming everyone for free on both days of the bank holiday.
"We've recently reopened after a major renovation project, thanks to funders including the National Lottery Heritage Fund, so free Jubilee entry is our way of saying THANK YOU to everyone who’s ever bought a Lottery ticket.
"There’s something for everyone, from a family creativity space to our normally ticketed 'Me, Myself, I' art exhibition featuring masterpieces of the past and present, so do come and explore Bristol's original art gallery free today!"
Image credit: Evan Dawson
Lisa Ingram is co-founder of LittleLeaf Organic:
"I run LittleLeaf Organic, designing fine quality bedding, pjs, homeware and babywear in planet-friendly organic cotton. We're certified by the Soil Association and everything is made in a solar-powered Fair Trade and organic factory.
We’re taking part in the PiG Day party in Grayshott which this year is taking place to coincide with celebrations for the Queen’s Jubilee. Along with music, parades and food, there's a marketplace for local businesses to show what they do. We're hoping this will be a much-needed boost to sales, as well as helping promote some brand recognition on our doorstep.
"We're an online company, but attend a few fairs and events throughout the year too. We see this as essential face-to-face marketing for us, as it's important for customers to feel our cotton. The organisers of PiG Day have kindly not asked for payment from local businesses taking stalls, but we will be donating 10% of any takings on the day to help fund future local events."
Natalie Bamford is managing director of Colleague Box:
"Sales of our Platinum Jubilee-themed gifts have far exceeded expectation. We had a wide range of commemorative gifts available for customers from flower bouquets to limited-edition tea sets, craft gins to a cheese hamper, which was really popular. One business ordered 400 boxes to give to its staff and customers to mark the special occasion. We’re now moving on to preparing for Christmas 2022 and already have several orders for gift boxes."
Annie Spaziano is founder Annie's Burger Shack in Nottingham and Derby:
"It's fantastic to see how the whole country is getting behind the Queen's Platinum Jubilee and of course we wanted to do something that marked the occasion too.
"We had huge fun sourcing everything for our Jubilee Burger which features a large 'silver platter' crouton, upon which is placed a mini-Melton Mowbray pork pie with a touch of Colman's English mustard. We wanted to keep in mind the flavours and traditions that we believed should be included to reflect her 70-year reign.
"Bookings for the Jubilee bank holiday have been incredible, and we hope that if the Queen was to visit Annie's Burger Shack, she would enjoy our creation.”
Anh Pham is owner of Paeonia Bubble Tea Room in Windsor:
"We've seen a significant increase in traffic leading up to the jubilee and expect another 100% increase over the weekend as the royal borough buzzes with excitement for the celebrations.
"We are situated in the shadows of Windsor Castle and, as well as regulars who come in every day for their bubble tea fix, the royal borough has been teeming with visitors from the UK and overseas, adding to increased footfall to Paeonia, which has been open for just eight months. This buzz has provided a welcome boost to Windsor, post-pandemic - and a sense of excitement!
"We've recruited and trained additional staff and have added several jubilee specials, inspired by Her Majesty, to the drinks menu.
"We had a jubilee launch party attended by influencers, which further impacted upon the buzz here, not to mention meaning several new followers, and we have been running social media campaigns advising people to order in advance for events such as the Windsor Jubilee picnic – a huge event planned over the weekend."