THE Daily Echo has found out what it takes to be the ultimate England fan.
The World Cup has got fans across Hampshire in a frenzy of excitement.
As reported by the Daily Echo yesterday, the tournament will give businesses in the county a £38m boost.
A study by analysts Mintel has found that English people will spend £16 each as a result of the tournament.
Taking a stroll through Southampton city centre it is not hard to believe.
With England’s first match taking place tomorrow, shops are giving it their all to give fans a chance to support their country with a vast array of goods – from the obvious to the wacky.
Fans can cover themselves, their children, their houses and their cars with the cross of St George, or splash out on anything from a giant flat screen television to a keyring.
Bargain Poundland and The 99p Store are good for bagging a bargain and stock includes the traditional flags and bunting.
But those looking for an extra touch can buy England kit air fresheners for the car, football-shaped air horns and the official World Cup percussion instrument, a caxirola, essentially a plastic shaker in fetching red and white.
Entering Sports Direct in WestQuay Shopping Centre you are bombarded by St George’s flag wigs, wristbands, football kits and jester hats, as well as footballer figurines, pint glasses and the official World Cup ball, the Brazuca.
If England reach the final, the economy in Hampshire will get a boost of up to £57m, and with places like Primark in Above Bar Street prepared to dress their customers from head to toe in England merchandise there’s no wonder.
Meanwhile, New Look, Next and River Island have a selection of trendy T-shirts with vintage football prints.
And then there is the food. Asda saw a 50 per cent increase in sales this week when it created St George’s flag pepperoni pizzas.
Store manager Les Starling said: “It’s lovely to have a bit of fun and celebrate with the customers.”
The store is doing everything possible to accommodate shoppers and has deals for snacks, drinks and a section devoted to St George flags, mugs, cups, plates and napkins.
Les has made sure that England and Brazil flags are flying above the tills and reasonably priced accessories like hairbands and caps are also on offer.
To see the ultimate England fan shopping list, pick up a copy of today's Daily Echo.
- NINETY-four per cent of people are planning to watch the World Cup at home, research has found.
Analysts Mintel found just 23 per cent said watching games at the pub was an option, indicating that supermarkets and retailers selling televisions were set to be the biggest winners from the event.
John Lewis said sales of TVs were up 48 per cent on the same week last year, a popular brand of meat grill was up 200 per cent and coffee machines were up 32 per cent.
Sainsbury’s said it expected to sell two million burgers this weekend, 10 million sausages, more than 30,000 of its largest televisions and 280,000 England flags.
Asda said it had already sold more than 20,000 sets of bunting and 3,000 bandanas and whistles, with England novelty hats, face paint and foam fingers “selling well”.
Waitrose said sales of beer were up 40 per cent and up 20 per cent on last week, with frozen pizzas up 30 per cent and ice cream up 52 per cent.
Fans were also stocking up on coffee presumably to cope with the late timing of the games.