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UK riots: £80m in lost sales for retailers

Published:  11 August, 2011

The cost of riots across England is put at £80 million in lost sales for retailers, according to research from Kelkoo.

The cost of riots across England is put at £80 million in lost sales for retailers, according to research from Kelkoo.

After four nights of unrest, research shows retailers have already lost £80 million in sales due to forced early closures and consumers avoiding troubled areas.

But on the bill for looted stock and repairs is estimated to total almost £61 million in the last four days.

Trouble abated last night as a heavy police presence and bad weather put rioters off.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg told BBC Radio 4's Today Programme that the public have a "basic need" to know that homes, shops and communities can be kept safe. "I think the immediate priority is to see through what the police have been doing successfully in the last few days, which is getting on top of the situation, making sure that the streets are safe again, getting people into court and getting them behind bars where appropriate."

The figures from Kelkoo, produced by the Centre for Retail Research, also show that tourism is also likely to be affected - the UK is expected to lose £520 million over the next 12 months as 330,000 holidaymakers choose alternative destinations.

Analysis of 28 town centres by the Local Data Company shows that more than 10% of UK retail and leisure businesses have been directly affected by looting and riots, with independent businesses, defined as those operating less than five outlets, accounting for 66% of those damaged.

Chris Simpson, chief marketing officer at Kelkoo, said: "Despite the chaos showing signs of abating, UK retailers are sadly going to feel the fallout of this week's riots for several months to come. Much of the cost will be picked up by insurers but we cannot overlook the fact that on top of the damage caused, retailers, restaurants, pubs and other service providers have been forced to shut their doors to business in order to protect their staff, customers and premises.

"This comes at a time when retailers are already struggling to stay afloat with sales up by just 0.6% on July 2010. Despite a small move in the right direction, I expect this could be a very different picture in the coming months as consumers confidence has taken a turn for the worst."