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Royal baby restores UK feelgood factor

Tuesday, July 23, 2013 - 02:05

July 23 - British mother and baby goods retailer Mothercare is hoping the birth of the royal baby will give their business a boost, after it reported a drop in sales in its home market in the last quarter. Joanna Partridge looks at whether the new heir to the throne will give the UK a similar boost to the Olympics.

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UPSOUND The celebrations have begun - even if photographers are still waiting for a glimpse of the new royal prince. And while the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's son may be only a day old, retailers are ready. Mother and baby goods specialist Mothercare is hoping to cash in. It's unveiled a range of baby clothes - along with models of the Royal couple and their new addition. It's also offering a discount for shoppers who spend more than £100. The loss-making retailer could certainly use a boost, even if it's only temporary. It recently reported a 3.4% fall in quarterly sales, as trading remains tough at home and in the euro zone. PTC It's not just other new parents who'll be splashing out. The Centre for Retail Research predicts retail sales will be boosted by £243 million during July and August. They expect well-wishers to spend money on celebrating and souvenirs, as well as books and DVDs. There's also a precedent. The optimistic atmosphere of the Royal Wedding and last year's Olympic Games gave a lift to the UK economy. Richard Cope from Mintel, says it's not just retailers who will benefit. SOUNDBITE: Richard Cope, Director of Trends, Mintel, saying (English): "The Royal Wedding had a very positive effect on consumer spending, we had a feel-good factor of around 6-8 weeks, consumer spending was up by around 7% compared with 12 months before that. What we don't have this time, one of the reasons to be more cautious is we don't have a bank holiday connected with this, we didn't have a set date where we could all plan parties around it, but the positive factor what we do have this time and we didn't have last time is huge numbers of tourists. Tourism is up by around 12% compared with this time last year." Tourist spending is also up on last year. As images of the royal baby are beamed around the world - if just a few of those watching decide to visit Britain, it can get ready to welcome a lot more tourists.

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Royal baby restores UK feelgood factor

Tuesday, July 23, 2013 - 02:05