JDW sales slump on Saturday before ‘rule of six’ enforced

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Transaction data: 'JDW sales were 22.5% below the equivalent Saturday last year. It is clearly not the case pubs are ‘dangerous places to be’,' the pub group boss Tim Martin said
Transaction data: 'JDW sales were 22.5% below the equivalent Saturday last year. It is clearly not the case pubs are ‘dangerous places to be’,' the pub group boss Tim Martin said

Related tags: Jd wetherspoon, Managed pubs, Tim martin, Health and safety

JD Wetherspoon (JDW) saw year-on-year sales drop by more than a fifth (22.5%) on Saturday 12 September amid national reports of pubs and bars being flooded with customers ahead of the Government’s ‘rule of six’ coming into force today (Monday 14 September).

JDW also revealed it had approximately 32m customer visits across its 861 sites in the 10 weeks since reopening on 4 July.

In addition, the pub group revealed there had been 66 positive tests for Covid-19 among its 41,564 employees (about 0.16%) during the same period.

Some 811 of its pubs have reported no positive tests, 40 have reported one positive, six pubs had two positive tests, two pubs said they had three, and two pubs had four.

Comprehensive measures

JDW stated that most of the reported cases were mild or asymptomatic and that 28 of the 66 employees have returned to work after self-isolating in accordance with medical guidelines.

Chairman Tim Martin said: “The situation with regard to pubs has been widely misunderstood. Trade was very quiet over the weekend, as the public weighed up the evidence about the alleged dangers of going out – JDW sales were 22.5% below the equivalent Saturday last year. It is clearly not the case pubs are ‘dangerous places to be’.

JDW has invested about £15m on comprehensive social distancing and hygiene measures​. These include reducing capacity, spacing out tables, the installation of screens between tables and around tills and an average of 10 hand sanitisers per pub.”

Strenuous effort

Martin added: “If pubs are closed or restricted so much they become unprofitable, a great deal of the strenuous effort of the hospitality industry’s 3.2m employees, currently engaged on upholding hygiene and social distancing standards, will be lost – leaving the public to socialise at home or elsewhere, in unsupervised circumstances.”

This comes after JDW revealed it received 5,742,125 check ins of track and trace​ across its UK and Republic of Ireland estate in one month.

From Monday 3 August to Sunday 6 September, customers have checked in using a QR code as they enter a site or throughout the pub at various points. Alternatively, customers are given the choice to fill out a form upon entry.

JDW asks one customer per group to register with that person stating how many people are in their group. The pub company said on average, there are three customers per group.

Related topics: JD Wetherspoon

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