Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Business

Some small businesses in Britain (and the US) are having a very royal time

The Washington Post

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are getting married this weekend, and it’s obviously a very happy time for the royal couple and their families. It’s also a very profitable time for many small businesses in Britain.

Some agencies are estimating that the event could contribute as much as $108 million to the British economy.

"There could be a modest boost to GDP growth in the second quarter from the royal wedding and the football World Cup starting in mid-June," Howard Archer, chief economic adviser to economic forecasting group the EY Item Club told the Guardian. "There may well be a temporary boost to retail sales from people buying souvenirs and also to tourism."

RELATED COVERAGE: Host a watch party and British breakfast for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s royal wedding

Airbnb is expecting more than 42,000 guest arrivals in the Windsor area, where the wedding will be held, with many residents clearing out and cashing in. Pubs are being allowed to stay open later. High Street retailers are offering everything from $16 tea towels to a $20 version of Markle’s engagement ring. Supermarkets are expecting to ring up sales from all those hungry Britons watching the event from home or at street parties. Lots of other off-the-wall products are also being offered, including a Harry and Meghan-themed beer.

According to website provider GoDaddy, a business that offers floating hot tub rides down London’s waterways (how could I make this up?) ran a successful promotion with royal look-alikes aboard. A bakery near the wedding site has been whipping up replica wedding cakes. An online service called Royal Central will be offering "extensive live coverage" of the big day, and an e-merchant called Mask-arade is selling - what else? - cutout masks of the happy couple.

RELATED COVERAGE: For the first time, a royal wedding will be shown in theaters

The party will also be going strong here in the United States. According to USA Today Dunkin Donut franchisers are selling a "Royal Love Donut" (it’s a heart-shaped jelly pastry frosted with chocolate icing and strawberry drizzle). A company that sells alcohol-infused water (why not?) is offering $1,900 to brides who choose a certain gown at New York’s Kleinfeld Bridal shop which - just by coincidence - happens to have the same look as the company’s predictions for Markle’s dress. Cookie company Walker’s Shortbread is selling a tin of Union Jack-shaped cookies with the couple’s faces on the cover.

RELATED COVERAGE: Exploring alternative tea drinks to toast Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s royal wedding

The good news? This will all be over, forever, in the next few days. "It won’t happen again, now that both sons are married off," one marketing consultant said. Huzzah!

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