TRADERS are hoping that the unsociable kick-off times of this year’s World Cup matches will prevent any damage to their takings.

The tournament gets under way on Thursday, June 12, and England’s first game is on the following Saturday.

Historically, figures have shown that the break in routines caused by watching so much football can often cause shopping centres and traders to suffer.

But as the World Cup is being held in Brazil, many games kick off late at night, with England’s opener against Italy at 11pm.

Chris Gribben, general manager of Burnley’s Charter Walk shopping centre, said the Clarets success had over-shadowed the World Cup.

He said: “We are not really expecting an impact.

“The focus is more on Burnley’s promotion to the Premier League than the World Cup in terms of impact.

“I think overall we will not have any problems because of the timings.

“I am hoping it will have a positive impact as it will put people in a good mood over the summer.

“I was speaking to one business boss who said they had been selling World Cup promotional items but it was only one or two per cent of their sales.”

Mr Gribben said there were some promotional ideas in place to try to cash in on the tournament.

He said: “We will be having web-based competitions and there will be promotions that follow on into the summer.

“But it does not have a huge draw for people in Burnley. I think people are more interested in Burnley FC than the World Cup – that is the talk of the town.”

And Lorraine Jones, manager of The Mall in Blackburn, said: “I don’t think it will have any impact at all.

“We haven’t decided what we are going to do in terms of joining in the festivities yet and I have a meeting with my marketing manager next week.

“We have kept the flags up from the Queen’s visit as we knew the World Cup was coming and we might launch a couple of competitions.”