While this was still short of pre-coronavirus trading, it was an improvement on the 18% shortfall in the first full week of January, and the 25% drop in the last three weeks of 2021.
However, drinks sales in Scotland and Wales, where restrictions were tighter, the week to Saturday 15 January were down 28% and 24% respectively, and across Britain, the drop in sales was between 8% and 15% every day during that week.
Better things to come
CGA managing director UK and Ireland Jonathan Jones said: “After an immensely challenging Christmas it will be a long road back for many drinking-out businesses, but these figures are a very welcome sign there are better times to come.”
Also shown in the most recent tracker, was a 1% increase in the sales of spirits when compared with the same week in 2020, though beer and cider were down 13%, wine decreased by more than a fifth (22%) and soft drinks sales dropped by 16%.
This comes after the previous CGA Tracker indicated the first few days of 2022 saw strong figures across the bank holiday, with overall sales up 25% and 37% on 2020’s levels during Sunday 2 and Monday 3 January. However, sales were down by between 23% and 32% for every other day during that week.
Worst is hopefully behind us
With Covid infection rates falling and restrictions due to be eased in England, Scotland, and Wales from this week, including vaccine passes and working-from-home guidance, there has been cautious confidence sales will continue to pick up as 2022 goes on.
Jones added: “Consumer confidence has grown since the start of the year, and the loosening of constraints should give operators and suppliers another lift, in late-night and after-work drinking occasions in particular.
“The sector still faces major pressures, but the worst impacts of the pandemic may hopefully now be behind us.”