Olympic winners and losers?

So we’ve worked through the first week of the Olympic Games and so far we have a lot to celebrate, particularly with the superb results from the British cycling team. The transport system hasn’t ground to a halt and the centre of town has actually been very quiet, allowing people travelling to the Games to get around with ease; indeed we heard yesterday that Transport for London have abandoned the use of their recorded announcements from Mayor Boris Johnson.

However, some businesses in the capital haven’t fared so well. Because we have all heeded the warnings to stay away from the centre of town, some businesses have really felt the impact of fewer consumers. On top of the usual difficulties at this time of year with people being on holiday, the games has impacted retail significantly. There have been claims that London has been like a ‘ghost town’ and unsurprisingly a recent report from Experian that footfall was down over 9% in East London and by almost 5% in the West end compared to the previous week.

The real winners in business have been the ones that have planned for the event. The sports minister Hugh Robertson commented that companies have had “ample time to plan” for the impact of the Olympics and said businesses need to take a ‘more long term view” as he said there would be “a huge payback in terms of spend on both the economy and in the retail sector in years to come.” Some companies have changed their working patterns to accommodate the impact the games has had. As ever, with forethought and planning, the right strategy, people and process in place great things are possible.
The real test comes next week with the athletics taking centre stage and public transport being under more pressure than ever before. Let’s hope what we have learned from this week allows businesses to react to the changes needed to cope with what we hope will be another fantastic week in the capital. 

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Lisa has worked within the interim management industry for over a decade and has built an extensive track record of providing clients with experienced, senior level interim executives. She is married with a young son and regularly gives up her time to support her local community raising funds and awareness.


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