Reopening week sees 40% sales dip

By Emily Hawkins

- Last updated on GMT

Slow sales: as expected, pubs experienced a drop in like-for-like sales in their reopening week, according to CGA data
Slow sales: as expected, pubs experienced a drop in like-for-like sales in their reopening week, according to CGA data

Related tags MA500 Government Cga London Coronavirus

Pub groups reported collective like-for-like sales down almost 40% on the same week last year for their reopening week, according to data from Coffer Peach Business Tracker.

Pubs that were open over the week beginning Monday 6 July saw sales 39.3% down on the same week in 2019, while bars that were open were 42.9% down.

Collective like-for-like sales across pubs, bars and restaurant groups were 39.8% down on the same week last year.

The tracker found 55% of group-operated hospitality sites had reopened for eating and drinking inside.

Sales across all types of sites in the first full week of reopening were down 39.8% on the same week last year, reflecting the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on consumer confidence and requirements on pubs to encourage social distancing with reduced covers.

Venues reported better sales performance than the first Saturday and Sunday, when like-for-likes were down 44.5%.

Breaking even

Many more pubs reopened in this week than restaurants and bars, with the tracker reporting 70% of managed pubs and pub restaurants traded in comparison to just 17% of restaurants and 42% of bars.

It comes as UKHospitality boss Kate Nicholls told MA500 attendees the pub sector needed further support from the Government into next year, to protect jobs and ensure the survival of many businesses.

She said the majority of businesses were operating at breakeven even on peak weekend trading. Nicholls added: “It is not sustainable in the longer term without additional support.”

Some 44 companies were able to provide data to the tracker while 11 said they had not opened any of their sites yet. 

Long recovery

Karl Chessell, director of CGA, the business insight consultancy that produces the tracker, in partnership with The Coffer Group and RSM, said: “Trading at almost 60% of pre-Covid norms is actually a better performance than many other markets internationally, such as the US, experienced on reopening.

"The sector still has a long way to go, but this sets the benchmark against which the speed of recovery will be judged.”

He added: “Operators told us that most would be taking a phased approach to reopening and we have seen this in the figures. The 70% of managed pubs in the first full week compares to just 42% over the first weekend, and although restaurants have been taking an even more cautious approach, we know more will be open next week.”

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