Rugby has a ball, shops don’t

While English rugby fans prepare for Saturday’s World Cup final against South Africa, retailers are bracing themselves for the possibility of a weekend of shops without shoppers.

Rugby has a ball, shops don't

Last Saturday’s combination of high-profile football and rugby matches proved bad news for the high street, with 7% fewer shoppers out than on the same Saturday last year and over 4% fewer than the previous Saturday.

“At this time of year we’d expect the number of shoppers to start gently increasing in the run-up to Christmas,” commented Natasha Burton of FootFall, which compiled the figures.

And the story could be repeated this weekend, although Burton said she expected sports fans to be stocking up on themed merchandise and food and drink to accompany their viewing.

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