There are World Cup winners both on and off the pitch this month. Retailers and breweries are attributing their growing gains to the soccer championship.
Soccer souvenirs are bringing in big bucks
Since the first whistle sounded, the cash registers have been cha-chinging in fan centers at the German stadiums. Beer, sausage and souvenir vendors are rejoicing over their financial victory, according to a survey conducted by the dpa news agency in Gelsenkirchen, Cologne and Dortmund.
"The people are buying flags, flags and more flags -- even from the more exotic countries. A real collectors' frenzy has developed. The biggest hit is the Hawaiian leis," said Jens Halverscheid, who runs a flag stand in downtown Dortmund. The top seller at another souvenir stand was flags for the car at three euros ($3.79) a piece.
Rivers of beer
It's no surprise that beer is the preferred thirst quencher of soccer fans. "We definitely expect our sales to double during the World Cup," predicted Georg Schaefer, manager of a private brewery. Slightly less optimistic, individual retailers in Cologne expect sales increases of 20 percent.
With 19,000 hectoliters (501,927 gallons), the Veltins Brewery set an output record last Friday and Monday. In May, the Krombacher Brewery had the best month in the history of the company with 600,000 hectoliters (15.85 million gallons). Bitburger also reached a record on Friday with 29,000 hectoliters (766,000 gallons).
On the first World Cup weekend alone, pub owners in Dortmund had to re-order 850 kegs of beer at 50 liters (13.2 gallons) each from the Dortmunder-Actien Brewery.
Sunshine and victory
Revenues during the World Cup have been stronger than originally expected, said Bavaria's Brewer President Michael Weiss in Munich. Due to the international soccer event, Bavarian brewers are now expecting an additional increase of 10 percent for the month of June. Till now they had counted on only a 5 percent revenue increase.
Udo Franke, spokesman for Carlsberg Germany said, "It's because of good weather and German victories that we're selling more beer."
Good weather during the World Cup has made soccer fans especially thirsty
Extended hours bring no advantage
German retailers are also reaping financial fruits from the World Cup, announced the trade association BAG on Wednesday. General Manager Rolf Pangels said that the expectations had been exceeded by a considerable margin.
"The classic souvenirs are selling just as well as everything else that's even remotely related to soccer," said Pangels.
Increases in the sale of hobby and sports articles have also been observed. Notably, it's the German fans that are consuming and not only the international fans, as had been expected.
Sellers of other products, however, aren't doing the same kind of victory dance.
According to the trade association, business is going well at the distribution centers. On the other hand, extended shopping hours have not brought in more customers. Pangels said the association expects a revenue increase of two million euros. The farther the German team gets, the more the expectations grow.
Voices of criticism
But not everyone has soaring spirits and high hopes. The Munich based ifo Insitute for Economic Research disagreed with the optimists, saying that the economic effects of the World Cup were only moderate, reported the taz daily. Looking at the year as a whole, the soccer championship won't impact the gross domestic product, they said. Thomas Webers, an economic psychologist in Bonn, has already detected a great awakening in the German economy, wrote the paper. From the outset, he said, the World Cup brought about high expectations for an economic boost and revenue increase that hasn't been met. Like the teams who didn't qualify for the second round, some are forced to face the disappointment before the month of soccer comes to an end.