No consumer slowdown for pubs yet

By Ed Bedington contact

- Last updated on GMT

No slowdown yet in consumer demand for pubs (Credit: Getty/Henrik Sorensen)
No slowdown yet in consumer demand for pubs (Credit: Getty/Henrik Sorensen)

Related tags: Ons, Cga, Statistics, Sales, Pub, Pubs, Pub & bar, Finance, Consumer confidence

The latest ONS figures which show a boost in off-trade sales does not signal a slowing down in the on-trade, industry watchers report.

A BBC article quoted recent ONS statistics which showed alcohol and cigarettes were the main drivers behind a jump in retail sales.

The article quoted analysts who claimed the increases in sales of drink in the off-trade suggested people were staying in to save money.

Danni Hewson, a financial analyst for AJ Bell told the BBC the increase “might indicate that people are choosing their kitchen tables over pubs and restaurants as they look to save money”.

However, that trend is disputed by data coming from industry analysts CGA. 

Jonny Jones, managing director of UK and Ireland with CGA, said: “We’re not seeing evidence of that in the sales data. If anything, up to now we’re seeing the opposite, with trends getting more positive through the second half of April and into May.”

He said that the beginning of April was similar to March, ignoring a peak for St Patrick’s Day, Six Nations matches and some good weather, but then trends improved in the final two weeks of April, with the improved performance continuing into May.

He added: “We know from our research that consumers are concerned about the cost-of-living crisis, with around half saying that this may impact their engagement with the trade. But we’re not seeing this come through in the performance data. At least not yet.”

Related topics: Rebuilding the Pub Sector

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