Be in with the sitting-in crowd


Consumers have invested in, and have come to expect, high-quality home entertainment services
Many of the major charities have latched on to the big night in as a fun fundraising event

FOR one famous romantic poet autumn was a season of mists and mellow fruitfulness. These days it’s a season of Champions League, Rugby World Cup, Great British Bake Off, Strictly and X Factor.
But will the great British public, including those of us living north of the border, maintain the habits of recent years, sit our selves down in front of the box and consume the food and drink that would once have been bought, in large part, out of home?
Well – as the comments, forecasts, opinions and advice on the next pages will show – many of the brands and companies involved in the key product categories of the big-night-in market, like beers, wines and spirits, soft drinks, crisps and snacks, and confectionery, certainly think so. While the debate goes on about the strength of Britain’s economic recovery few observers expect Scottish and other UK consumers to suddenly release the tighteners on purses and wallets.
Consumers have become used to shopping in many different venues, and are making more visits to a wider variety of stores, especially to discounters and c-stores, to better manage their spending, consumption and wastage.


They’ve come to expect and have often invested in a wide variety of high-quality home entertainment services.
And, in Scotland especially with the change in drink driving laws, they’re more inclined to make spur of the moment decisions to relax or celebrate when they know they’re OK to do so.
So, if the market opportunity is likely to be there to just as great a degree as in the darkest days of the recession, how can retailers continue to make the best of it? Well, advice can vary from category to category but in the widest sense it’s always crucial to know your market and your customers’ favourite occasions. From September through to December the airwaves will be awash with European football. One possible downside for retailers is that there will no Champions League or Europa League matches on the main free-to air TV channels for the next three seasons – it’s all on BT Sport, though as part of its arrangements with UEFA it will broadcast a small number of matches, including the Champions League finals, free to air on its service.
The Rugby World Cup is on ITV, however.
And the BT Sport contract might make it more likely that groups of football fans gather in a friend’s house, making it a bigger big night in.
And while plenty of people of both genders like football it’s not too difficult to imagine a scene where groups of lads gather at one house to watch a match, leaving the opportunity for the girls to group elsewhere for their own night in.
And, of course, it’s not all about sport or even the big weekend shows.
Your own customers could include folks who organise regular book group meetings, for example.
Many of the major charities including Macmillan Cancer Support and Marie Curie have latched on to the big night in as a fun fundraising device. You could become directly involved in encouraging an event or suggest the idea for a national or local good cause.
If many of your customers are young adults you’ll probably be aware that many have nights in ahead of late nights out.
Stay alive to drinks trends in the pubs and clubs and give those young adults the ability to recreate their favourites at home. And be aware of changing trends in kids favourites too, ahead of family nights with Strictly and X Factor.
Check out what the big big-night-in brands suggest, and have a great BNI season.