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May 4, 2020
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Love Island cancellation will hurt retailers, but will also save them cash

Published
May 4, 2020

The cancellation of the summer edition of hit UK TV show Love Island due to the coronavirus pandemic could be both a blow and a blessing for under-pressure retailers that have received major sales boosts from previous editions of the show, analysts have said.


Love Island usually provides a massive sales boost for retailers linked to the show



Broadcaster ITV announced the cancellation on Monday but said Love Island would be back in 2021. It usually airs in June and ITV had last week ruled out switching its location to Britain from Majorca where it’s always been filmed.

The cancellation also comes after former host Caroline Flack committed suicide earlier this year.

The show’s sponsors in both the fashion and beauty sectors, as well as other retailers whose products have been worn or used on air, have benefited hugely from the publicity boost Love Island has given them.

Sponsors such as Missguided, I Saw It First and Superdrug have found it to be a goldmine for reaching the youth market and a survey from GlobalData showed that last year, almost half of 16-24 year olds watched at least one episode. And of those who watched, 45.3% bought a product after seeing it on an ad by one of the brands sponsoring the show.

GlobalData analyst Sofie Willmott said: “Many retailers targeting 16-24s will have been banking on their Love Island partnerships drawing in new customers this summer and will be left wondering how they can replicate the huge awareness boost that the programme brings. Impressive viewing figures and a highly engaged young audience have attracted numerous brands over the past few years. Retailers have been wise to get involved with the show.”

Collections launched in partnership with contestants following the show have also helped some fast fashion online pureplays surge in popularity and the collaborations have raised the profile of their brands in a highly competitive market.

But Willmott also pointed out that “despite missing out on the sales lift, the brands that were planning to sponsor the show may feel somewhat relieved that they will be able to save on the cost of taking part, with many retailers slashing their 2020 marketing budgets to reduce operating costs. Although Love Island could have boosted brand awareness at a time when UK consumers were potentially ready to spend again, it is looking unlikely they will be buying much swimwear and suncream this year given holidays abroad are in doubt.”

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