Euros fans boost footfall at high street pubs by 129%

By Emily Hawkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

Football boost: high street pubs enjoyed a boost as football fans flooded in to watch the England team in the UEFA Euro 2020 final (image: Getty/Moonstone Images)
Football boost: high street pubs enjoyed a boost as football fans flooded in to watch the England team in the UEFA Euro 2020 final (image: Getty/Moonstone Images)

Related tags: coronavirus, lockdown, Football, England, London

Football fans eager to experience match fever together resulted in a huge boost to hospitality footfall on Sunday 11 July – the day England took on Italy in the Euros final.

Most cities across the country experienced a sharp rise in footfall with high streets particularly benefiting and London especially busy, according to data from Wireless Social. 

England suffered a defeat in the final against Italy in penalties after victorious games against Germany and Ukraine in recent weeks.

High street pubs saw a 129% increase in footfall compared to the previous Sunday (4 July), while sports clubs enjoyed a 62% increase.

Traffic in the capital city, where the final was hosted at Wembley stadium, was up by 89% compared to the previous week while in Leeds it was up by 54%.

Cities where footfall also saw a huge increase were Durham (46%), Newcastle (37%) and Bristol (35%).

Encouraging data

Julian Ross, CEO and founder of Wireless Social, said: “While it’s tough to take that England came so close to lifting the trophy, it’s really encouraging to see people getting out and supporting hospitality venues on what was the biggest night for English football in 55 years.”

However, while pubs may have enjoyed a boost due to football fans, sales data on the last comparable year shows a dip in sales, thanks to ongoing pandemic restrictions.

Sales in hospitality on the weekend of the final (11 July) were up 10.3% on the previous week, according to payroll software S4labour.

However, sales dropped by 3.9% compared to the same week in 2019, with pubs limited by the rule of six, social distancing rules and table service requirements.

Staffing chaos

Pubs have also been hit by further staff shortages in recent weeks as many employees have been instructed to self-isolate following alerts by the NHS Covid app.

“It’s clear speaking to our customers, a lack of staffing resulting from Brexit, Covid restrictions and Track and Trace are affecting staff availability,” S4labour's chief customer officer, Sam Wignell said. 

“This is leading to a squeeze in the labour market for an industry that is heavily dependent on people. Hence, hampering the ability to trade.”

While 7.1m extra pints are expected to be bought on during Sunday’s UEFA Euro 2020 final on Sunday (11 July), due to ongoing restrictions, the trade will miss out on £9m in beer sales, it has been predicted.

The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) estimated that the trade would miss out on £9m in beer sales during the final of the football tournament.

Pint sales

The trade body calculated that while 7.1m extra pints were expected to be bought during the final, an estimated 2.4m fewer points would be sold during the game than if Covid restrictions had already been lifted.

However, the England team’s success in matches and good weather resulted in spending at pubs and bars rising by 38.1% in June compared to the same period in 2019.

This is according to consumer card spending data from Barclaycard, which found pubs and bars enjoyed the biggest increase in spending since September 2020 last month.

Related topics: Sport

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