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Breakfast, barbecues and booze: UK supermarkets set for Women's World Cup final fillip

By James Davey

LONDON (Reuters) - British supermarkets and pubs are set to enjoy a boost to trade this weekend as families and friends gather for breakfasts and barbecues to watch England's Lionesses play Spain in the Women's World Cup soccer final in Australia.

The game on Sunday will be the first time since England's men beat West Germany in 1966 that a senior England team has reached a soccer World Cup final.

With fair weather forecast, supermarket demand for alcohol, soft drinks, and barbecue food is expected to jump.

The early kick off, at 11 a.m. local time (1000 GMT), is also anticipated to drive sales of breakfast treats.

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The boost to trade will be welcomed. On Friday, official data showed a bigger-than-expected fall in UK retail sales in July as heavy rain deterred shoppers already hard hit by high inflation and consecutive increases in interest rates.

Pubs are also expecting increased demand, with trade body UK Hospitality estimating an additional 41 million pounds ($52 million) in sales.

Market leader Tesco said it expected burger sales to more than double this weekend versus last, with lager sales up 35% and Champagne sales up 30%.

Sainsbury's, Britain's second largest grocer, saw beer sales jump over 20% week-on-week for the Lionesses semi-final victory over Australia on Wednesday.

"We expect that figure to continue to rise over the weekend," a Sainsbury's spokesperson said.

The group is also forecasting a 10% week-on-week uplift in sales of crisps and soft drinks, and a 30% increase for ice cream.

Asda, the No. 3 grocer, has forecast a sales jump of 25% year-on-year for bacon and burgers on Saturday as fans stock up before Sunday's final. It expects a 5% rise in alcohol sales.

No. 4 Aldi expects to sell over 250,000 cans of beer this weekend and more than a million packets of crisps.

Nathan Ansell, customer director, at upmarket supermarket Waitrose, said its stores had also stocked up on bacon, sausages, eggs and champagne and forecast high demand for grocery deliveries from Deliveroo and Uber Eats on Sunday.

The John Lewis department store chain reported sales of children’s football boots have more than doubled since last week, while sales of TVs have climbed by 25% on last year.

Sportswear retailers JD Sports Fashion and Frasers have also reported strong demand for Lionesses jerseys.

($1 = 0.7863 pounds)

(Reporting by James Davey; editing by Barbara Lewis)