Birmingham analysts predict summer of economic upturn

Retail set for resurgence as £50 billion shopping spree anticipated post-lockdown.

People up and down the country are dying for a taste of normality, and with April 12th looming, Birmingham is set to welcome back at least some of the bustling atmosphere it’s famous for.

Beer gardens, Bullring stores and much needed barber seats will all welcome back Brummies in just over a week’s time, the advent of which is set to see huge amounts of money pour back into the local and national economy.

In fact, as part of their latest report, the economic experts at Scottish Friendly are predicting a staggering £50 billion

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shopping spree across the UK post-lockdown, and with Birmingham a central hub for shopping and leisure, a good chunk of that will be spent in the Second City and surrounding areas.

Head of New Business and Marketing Oliver Roddy of Green Room Design – a global retail design consultancy based in the Jewellery Quarter – says consumer confidence is high and rising.

“There’s a huge, pent up desire now throughout Birmingham and the UK to get back out there and experience all the forms of normality we’ve been stripped of over the last year.

People even started doing fake commutes at the height of the first lockdown to get a sense of routine, so it’s no surprise that non-essential retail and beer gardens reopening is piquing people’s interest.”

Green Room, who work with global brands including Burberry, Mercedes-Benz and PUMA, are at the forefront of the retail industry, and through their conversations with brands across the globe over the last year, have seen first-hand the trends in consumer behaviour which have come and gone over the last year.

“It’s not just consumer confidence that’s high now: consumer savings are also huge. People have paid off credit card debts and there’s an estimated $400 billion more in personal savings across Europe now than compared to previous years.

“And brands are absolutely anticipating this: our conversations have changed pretty dramatically over the last month. Our inbound enquiries trebled in March compared with previous months. Where brands were previously playing it safe and waiting to see what happens, there’s now a lot of movement and action.”

Given the huge shifts in our every-day lives over the last year or so, one of the big questions the retail experts are trying to answer is how consumer behaviour will change over the coming months and years.

“The answer is that only time will tell. One of the trends we have seen across the world over the last year though – and one which I’ve seen first-hand here in Birmingham for years prior to the pandemic – is a growing support for local businesses.

“Despite the fact that major brands will reopen their stores in the next few weeks – and they’ll no doubt be busy – I’d still expect that trend of supporting smaller, independents to grow, especially here in Birmingham where there’s a real, growing sense of local pride and community” adds Roddy.