Nation & World

Royal Wedding: Some small businesses having a very royal time

The event could add $108 million to the British economy

Reuters

Souvenirs themed on the forthcoming royal wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are seen for sale in Windsor, Britain, earlier this month.
Reuters Souvenirs themed on the forthcoming royal wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are seen for sale in Windsor, Britain, earlier this month.
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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are getting married Saturday, 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.”

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 also are 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 ran a successful promotion with royal look-alikes aboard. A bakery near the wedding site has been whipping up replica wedding cakes.

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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.

The party also will be going strong here in the United States. According to USA Today, Dunkin Donut franchisers are selling a “Royal Love Donut” — a heart-shaped jelly pastry frosted with chocolate icing and strawberry drizzle.

A company that sells alcohol-infused water is offering $1,900 to brides who choose a certain gown at New York’s Kleinfeld Bridal shop that — 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.

But this all will be over, forever, in the next few days. “It won’t happen again, now that both sons are married off,” one marketing consultant said.

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