Fans, pipes and air conditioners… The British are asking for help
LONDON: Sales of electric fans, hoses, air conditioning units and sprinklers are soaring as Britons swelter amid record temperatures, retailers said.
Britain has braced for temperatures to hit 40C for the first time this week, with ministers urging the public to stay at home as the heat wave caused the cancellation of train services, the closure of a London airport and the closure of some schools.
Sainsbury’s, Britain’s second-largest supermarket group which also owns the Argos general merchandise business, said last week that sales of ventilators were up 1,876% from the previous week, while sales of units of air conditioning had increased by 2,420% and wading pool sales by 814%.
Yesterday, 10 of the 15 best-selling items in Amazon’s home and kitchen section in the UK were fans. Other popular items included an ice cube tray and a ‘cooling gel insert’ for pillows, according to Amazon.co.uk’s ‘best sellers’ webpage.
Department store group John Lewis said sales of fans and air conditioning units were up 709% year-on-year.
Home improvement retailer B&Q, which is owned by Kingfisher, said sales of hoses and sprinklers more than doubled this week compared to a typical week, while sales of hot tubs nearly tripled.
Builders dealer Travis Perkins’ Toolsstation business said fan sales jumped 641% from the previous week as traders struggled to stay cool.
He said sales of smart technologies that control temperatures jumped 95%, while sales of pipes rose 56% and sales of water canisters 21%.
“With the nation bracing for a scorcher, it’s no surprise they’re looking for ways to stay cool,” a Toolstation spokesperson said.
Supermarkets also reported increased sales of ice cream, drinks, barbecue charcoal and sunscreen products.
However, analysts said overall the heatwave is generally bad news for brick-and-mortar retailers as it’s too hot to shop, adding pressure to a sector already grappling with a cost crisis. life.
Market researcher Springboard said the number of shoppers, or footfall, on all UK high streets was down 7.3% from last week.