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Royal baby expected to pump $380M into British economy

June 19, 2013 at 12:36 AM   |   Comments

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LONDON, June 19 (UPI) -- The arrival of a new heir to the British throne is expected to pump $380 million into the country's economy this summer, a retail analyst said Tuesday.

Joshua Bamfield of the Center for Retail Research in Nottingham said the first-born child of the duke and duchess of Cambridge will be welcomed with parties and the popping of champagne corks. He predicted 3 million bottles of champagne and other sparkling wines will be sold for celebrations putting millions of pounds into the pockets of British wine merchants.

The baby due in July will be Prince Charles's first grandchild. While the royal family has not announced the baby's gender, because of changes in the rules of succession the child will be third in line for the throne now occupied by Queen Elizabeth II.

"Tradition dictates that every royal occasion is greeted with a raft of collectable souvenirs and memorabilia," Bamfield said. "These nostalgic memories are set to cost consumers 56 million pounds ($90 million). In addition, toys will be high on the shopping list making retailers a further 24 million pounds ($38 million)."

Books, DVDs and other items will contribute to the spending splurge, Bamfield said. He predicted total spending attributable to the new arrival in July and August will be 243 million pounds ($380 million).

Some sellers of infant gear are already marketing items tied to the royal birth, Bamfield said. Buckingham Palace also plans to sell baby-themed items but will not put them on display until the child is born. Proceeds from the palace gift shop go to upkeep of the queen's historic home and other royal residences.

While the queen's subjects will be doing much of the spending, royal fans overseas will play their part, Bamfield said.

Specific products chosen by the royal couple for their child can also expect a boost. The maker of a baby carriage selected by Dave and Victoria Beckham saw sales more than double between 2009 and 2011, Bamfield said.

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