The clocks are due to “spring forward” on the 29 March 2015 and business owners will find that not only have they lost an hour they may spend a further hour amending their till and alarm systems! But what positive effects can business owners look forward to with this extra hour of sunlight?
Within this blog, Molly Monks, the Corporate Insolvency Manager at The Business Debt Advisor, looks at how British Summer Time (“BST”) has a positive effect on businesses.
WHAT TRIGGERED DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME (BST”)?
The origin of BST is highly debated whether it was invented by “the First American”; Benjamin Franklin in 1784, or theastronomer; George Hudson in 1895. Nevertheless, it wasn’t until World War I when Germany and its allies implemented it in an effort to conserve energy for the war effort, but Britain et al soon followed suit. The need for BST was reaffirmed for the major industrial countries after the energy crisis of 1973 and then again in 1979.
IS BST STILL RELEVANT?
Yes, broadly speaking BST has a positive effect on businesses.
During the spring and summer months we are outside for longer period of times, we are venturing to our local parks and beer gardens. This gives businesses a fantastic opportunity to attract customers and take advantage of the increase in footfall.
We as a nation also become more active, which not only means we become more healthy but the leisure sector sees a rise in revenues of 3%. In America, it has even been reported that the National Golf Foundation estimated if it extended the Daylight Saving Time by an additional seven weeks it would increase golf industry revenues from $200 million to $300 million!
With natural daylight and a warmer climate businesses can see a reduction in both heating and electricity bills.
Finally, businesses, especially the retail industry, will see a reduction in crime including shoplifting.
DOES IT HAVE A NEGATIVE EFFECT ON BUSINESSES?
Farmers, who are a main opponent to BST, use the sun as their “opening hours” and with everyone else moving an hour forward, they have less time to market and sell their products. BST can also be disruptive to dairy farmers as the cows are sensitive to change which can result in a lower production of milk.
As leisure activities increase there is a downturn in trade for in-door businesses such as cinemas and theatres.
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