Rain ruins summer trade at 82% of pubs

By Amelie Maurice-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Weathering the storm: Rainy days thwart trade at most pubs (Credit: Getty/ Tim Parker)
Weathering the storm: Rainy days thwart trade at most pubs (Credit: Getty/ Tim Parker)

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Wet weather has ruined summer trade for more than 80% for operators, a recent survey by The Morning Advertiser has revealed.

Of all 143 respondents to the poll, 82% claimed that the poor weather conditions of July spoiled trade at their pub, whereas 18% said that it had not.

This comes after research found managed UK pubs recorded their worst weekly sales figures at the end of July versus last year as rain turned trade into a damp squib.

Average sales in managed venues from Sunday 30 July to Saturday 5 August were down 6% on the same week in August 2022 – this included two days of double-digit percentage falls as only two days reached marginal growth.

The results were not helped by strong comparatives last year when temperatures were consistently in the high 20°s, according to CGA by NIQ’s Daily Drinks Tracker, which was formerly the Drinks Recovery Tracker.

Wet weather

The group said Sunday (30 July) bore the brunt of the poor weather, which was the wettest July on record, as sales dropped 16% compared to last year.

Rain across much of the country disrupted plans and Monday didn’t fare much better (down 10%).

Tuesday experienced a slight uptick in growth (up 0.8%) but Wednesday’s figures dropped once again (down 3%). Thursday saw a slight growth (up 0.5%), before Friday sales dipped (down 3%), further adding to the week’s challenges. The week finished with Saturday’s sales down by 4%.

The tracker’s breakdown of sales by category showed cider emerged as a barometer of overall performance, experiencing a 15% decline in sales, although the category had poorer weeks in July.

Drink sales fall

Spirits witnessed a drop of 11%, while soft drinks fell by 7% and the beer category also saw a drop into negative territory with sales down by 4%. Wine was the only sunny spot as it grew slightly with a 1% increase in sales.

“As the on-premise reflects on a dampened week marked by disappointing weather and declining sales, operators and suppliers are undoubtedly pinning their hopes on August to bring a resurgence of summer and positive performances,” said Jonathan Jones, CGA’s managing director, UK and Ireland.

“The unpredictability of weather patterns highlights the significance for businesses to adeptly manage these challenges and tailor strategies to ensure resilience and growth in the on-premise.”

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