The August bank holiday is just around the corner, marking the final extended weekend before the Christmas season for 2023.

Consumers are eagerly anticipating this break, especially since they’ve already enjoyed an additional bank holiday earlier in the year to celebrate the King’s Coronation.

However, retailers have faced challenges this year as high inflation dampened bank holiday spending. Now, with inflation levels falling, they see an opportunity to entice consumers into making the most of the upcoming bank holiday on 28 August.

Leading data and analytics company GlobalData suggests that promotions on items like food and drink for picnics and BBQs will play a crucial role in encouraging spending during this time.

Bank holidays: a time for socialising and leisure spend

GlobalData retail analyst Tash Van Boxel points out that many people catch up with family and friends on bank holiday weekends. Consequently, leisure expenditure tends to be supported during these periods, as consumers are more willing to spend on socialising.

According to GlobalData’s UK consumer survey for July, 50.2% of consumers agree that bank holidays encourage them to increase spending on social activities. On the other hand, only 29% of consumers stated that bank holidays lead to increased retail spending.

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Van Boxel explains that when disposable income is tight, retail spending is often de-prioritised. People prioritise maximising their time spent with loved ones overindulging in retail therapy.

The impact of persistently high inflation in the first half of the year has been evident, with 60.6% of consumers agreeing that they had to cut back on their bank holiday spending due to the cost-of-living crisis.

Retailers must invest in marketing and promotions

With the upcoming holiday and falling inflation offering a glimmer of hope, retailers are urged to take advantage of this opportunity.

Van Boxel emphasises the importance of increased marketing and promotional events. Offering competitive discounts and deals can encourage volume and sales growth on bank holidays.

According to GlobalData’s survey, a significant 70.1% of consumers believe that shops should do more promotions around bank holidays.

As the last bank holiday of the summer approaches, retailers have a chance to attract eager consumers looking to enjoy quality time with friends and family.

By offering enticing promotions on items suitable for picnics and BBQs, retailers can tap into the socialising spirit of the holiday and potentially boost retail spending.

Falling inflation levels may be the much-needed catalyst for retailers to revive their sales and make the most of this extended weekend.