Drinks sales down 7% vs 2019 during week of rail strikes

By Rebecca Weller contact

- Last updated on GMT

Drinks sales down 7% in week to 25 June: rail strikes impact trade (Credit:Getty/Henrik Sorensen)
Drinks sales down 7% in week to 25 June: rail strikes impact trade (Credit:Getty/Henrik Sorensen)

Related tags: Cga, Finance, Drinks

Average sales by value for managed venues in the seven days to Saturday 25 June were 7% down on the same week in 2019 as the biggest rail dispute for more than 30 years impacted city-centre and after-work occasions, according to the latest CGA by NielsenIQ Drinks Recovery Tracker.

The Drinks Recovery Tracker also revealed this was the largest shortfall in sales since late February, aside from a week in May which was skewed by the bank holiday, with sales even further behind in real terms as inflation hit a record high of 9%.

CGA managing director UK and Ireland Johnathan Jones said: “As people reduce their days in the office, Thursdays have been increasingly popular for after-work drinks, but the strikes severely curtailed them last week.”

Disruption from rail strikes 

The week started strong with sales up 21% and 13% on Sunday and Monday (19 and 20 June) respectively, and 9% on Tuesday (22 June), despite the first day of the rail strikes.

However, sales then fell 24% behind pre-Covid levels on Thursday (24 June) as the disruption of the second strike led many commuters and other rail travellers to stay at home.

By Friday and Saturday (25 and 26 June), sales were 22% and 11% down respectively as the rail strikes continued, however, these days were also impacted by a comparison vs a heatwave in 2019.

Challenging trading conditions

Drinks wise, spirits finished the week 7% behind the same period in 2019, while soft drinks and beer were both down 5% with double-digit declines for wine (13%) and cider (14%).

Jones added: “Disruption on Saturday hit what should have been the busiest day of the week in many city-centre venues.

“Operators and suppliers will be hoping the dispute is settled quickly to avoid further knocks to sales, in what are already very challenging trading conditions.”

Related topics: Rebuilding the Pub Sector

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