Tiered system ‘further depressed sales’ in October

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Industry figures: the tracker also stated wet-led pubs saw total sales down by more than a third (37.6%) and like-for-like sales reduced by 35.3% on October 2019
Industry figures: the tracker also stated wet-led pubs saw total sales down by more than a third (37.6%) and like-for-like sales reduced by 35.3% on October 2019

Related tags: Sales, Government, Cga, lockdown

Regional coronavirus restrictions last month (October) pushed managed pub, restaurant and bar group sales into reverse, new research has found.

The Coffer Peach Business Tracker revealed with more than three quarters (83%) of group-owned sites open, total sales across the managed sector fell by 33.9% on the same month last year.

This was a deterioration from September when sales were 20.3% below 2019 levels and August when they were 12.2% down.

The data also found all parts of the market performed worse than in September with like-for-like sales in trading businesses more than a quarter (28.9%) below October last year, compared to a 14.7% drop in September.

The research, which is produced by CGA in partnership with The Coffer Group and RSM, included 56 companies, with 9,295 sites open between them, and provided data to the October Tracker.

Massive negative impact

The tracker also stated wet-led pubs saw total sales down by more than a third (37.6%) and like-for-like sales reduced by 35.3% on October 2019. Figures in September were also down by 22.7% and 21.1% respectively.

Food-led pubs and pub restaurants figures were marginally better but still worse than in September with total sales down 28.9% and like for likes down 27.8%.

Across all managed pubs, food sales were down more than a fifth (24.5%) and drink sales almost two fifths (37.6%) when compared with the same period last year.

CGA director Karl Chessell said: “Drink-led pubs and bars have been particularly badly hit, and with England now in full lockdown, you can only wonder how may will re-emerge in their current state, how many will have to revamp their trading styles, including switching their emphasis to food?”

“What’s crystal clear is that even before total lockdown in England, the imposition of tier two and three restrictions across large swathes of northern England, as well as the tough restrictions in Scotland and Wales, had a massive negative impact on sales performance.”

Crucial trading period

RSM head of leisure and hospitality Paul Newman said it was impossible to put a positive gloss on such depressing results in the last full month of trading prior to England’s second lockdown.

He added: “This week’s news about an imminent vaccine is just the fillip the sector needs as operators turn their focus to the operational challenges of successfully re-opening their businesses on 3 December for the truncated, but ever more crucial, festive trading period.

“I’m amazed at the creativity shown by operators to stay in business during lockdown and I urge consumers to support their local pubs and restaurants over the coming weeks. A whole business eco-system is reliant on their support - from suppliers to operators and landlords.”

However, The Coffer Group chairman David Coffer highlighted October’s figures were better than feared.

“The pressures on the hospitality sector to keep businesses going during lockdown is immense and the industry has been as creative as possible. Crucially, we will be concerned about how the public will react to the lifting of the restrictions in December - will their eating and drinking habits have culturally changed?,” he said.

“The post lockdown figures especially over Christmas are sadly or joyfully going to be the acid test for the Industry. We expect it will be a truly seismic period with far reaching effects.”

Related topics: Legislation

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