Bank holiday weekends are a long-anticipated opportunity for many to get away, to enjoy a change of pace. However, this isn’t the case for all, for example, those who work in the retail and hospitality sectors. The impact of bank holidays on UK businesses, whether positive or negative, can vary. It will depend on a range of factors including type of industry, location, and business model. With eight public holidays each year, including occasions such as Christmas, New Year, and Easter, it’s important to consider the benefits and drawbacks to businesses.

Benefits to Businesses

Bank holiday weekends can have a positive impact on all businesses, regardless of whether they are open or closed. Some of the benefits for businesses that are open over the bank holiday include:

  • Boost in sales
  • Increased foot traffic
  • Opportunity for special offers
  • Improved employee morale
  • Increased retention rates
  • Greater productivity

 Boost in sales

Longer weekends usually result in more people travelling and taking part in leisure activities such as shopping. This results in increased consumer spending in sectors such as retail, hospitality, and tourism.

Increased foot traffic

Tourist areas and popular destinations are likely to be busier than usual over bank holidays. This will lead to higher foot traffic for local businesses such as restaurants, cafes, and shops. This will not only support the business in improving sales, but also make it more well-known to the wider public. This can increase further with word-of-mouth recommendations.

Opportunity for special offers

Businesses can capitalise on the heightened consumer activity by running promotions and discounts. This will attract more customers and further increase sales.

Improved employee morale

Employees who are not required to work on bank holidays value the extra leisure time. This will help maintain a positive morale in the workplace.

Increased retention rates

Employees that value the extra time off work are likely to have a higher job satisfaction. Because of this, businesses are also likely to see higher retention rates.

Greater productivity

For employees who do not work during the bank holiday, they can come back to work feeling refreshed and recharged. This in turn will improve productivity.

Business Disadvantages

Some of the drawbacks businesses face over the bank holiday weekend include:

  • Operations disruption
  • Supply chain disruption
  • Staffing challenges
  • Customer service impact
  • Reduced productivity
  • Financial impact

Operations disruption

Planning and scheduling operations around bank holidays requires extra coordination and foresight. Businesses may need to adjust production schedules, staff levels, and logistics to accommodate the disruption.

Supply chain disruption

Demand is high as consumer activity increases over the bank holiday weekend. As retailers plan for the increase in sales, logistics, transportation, and warehousing are all placed under more strain than usual. Suppliers and logistics partners may have different holiday schedules to retailers. Because of this, it could put further pressure on those who are working over the bank holiday.

Staffing challenges

Businesses that are open over the bank holiday weekend may have staffing challenges. As some employees may request time off, it could lead to potential gaps in coverage or increased workload for remaining staff.

Customer service impact

Businesses that rely on customer service may experience challenges during bank holidays. Reduced staffing levels may lead to longer response times or service interruptions.

Reduced productivity

For those businesses that close, bank holidays reduce the number of working days within a month. This reduction in available working days can lead to lower productivity levels as tasks may be pushed back.

Financial impact

While bank holidays can lead to increased sales and revenue, other businesses experience a negative financial impact. This is particularly true if they are unable to operate or if their regular customers are also closed for the holiday.

It is important for businesses to determine what works best for them. Some organisations no longer acknowledge bank holidays. Instead, they offer employees the option to utilise the time off when they prefer. Whatever the decision, good communication is needed to ensure that the decision is beneficial for all.

The management of people and processes around bank holidays can be both challenging and rewarding. Discover DLC Training’s range of qualifications that can support you with the development of your management and skills.