PATRIOTIC big spenders in our area will spend a staggering £22m as they celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee this weekend.
Businesses are experiencing a spending bonanza as people flock to the shops to stock up on flags, food and drink ahead of this weekend’s big party.
More than 150 street parties are to be held in the area covered by The News, accounting for a huge chunk of the spending.
Yesterday Sainsbury’s, in Commercial Road, Landport had sold out of bunting. Enterprising customers had resorted to buying flags and taking the poles off to create makeshift bunting.
Sainsbury’s customer services team leader Irene Hilliar said: ‘It’s been absolute chaos.
‘We’re all out of bunting and the flags are selling quickly now as well.
‘We still have union jack car flags, plates, balloons, napkins and beakers but I doubt they’ll be around by the end of the weekend. Sales have gone through the roof.’
U-Need-Us fancy dress shop, in Arundel Street, Landport, said it was gearing up for big sales.
Store manager Stephen Searle, 51, said: ‘Though we haven’t got exact figures, we’ve been busy lately and we expect to sell a lot more bunting and Union Jack flags and hats. It’s come as a big relief to us because trade was tough for a while.’
Shoppers at Gunwharf Quays have also helped to increase sales by 13.8 per cent. Rhoda Joseph, centre director of Cascades Shopping Centre, in Portsmouth, added: ‘People are buying lots of Jubilee merchandise and we are definitely seeing a pick-up in demand.’
The Money Advice Service, an independent body set up by the Government, estimates that each household will spend an average of £112 on partying this weekend – making the figure for our area a phenomenal £22.6m.
The centre’s director Joshua Barfield said: ‘Portsmouth is undoubtedly going to be in a leadership position when it comes to the Jubilee.
‘For one thing, the work we have done shows there is more passion among smaller communities where people know one another better – and also because of Portsmouth’s long links with the navy and defence industries.’