35.9m pints poured in first week of festive runup

By Amelie Maurice-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Festive cheer:Draught pint sales are up by 2.3% versus the same week last year (Credit: Getty/andresr)
Festive cheer:Draught pint sales are up by 2.3% versus the same week last year (Credit: Getty/andresr)

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The festive season has well and truly commenced, with 35.9m pints being sold in the first week of the run up to Christmas according to new research.

Overall draught pint sales are up by 2.3% versus the same week last year. This is more than 826,000 since last year, according to the data from Oxford Partnerships.

The first week of December has been strong for trade, up 2.5%, with volume driven by an increased consumer dwell time of 5%, the research also revealed.

Linda’s Inns owner Linda Senior said: “We have seen some great sales across ales and stout (Guinness is absolutely flying) no doubt helped by the much colder temperatures we have had of late, but passing trade continues to be unpredictable, so larger Christmas bookings are incredibly important for us and are definitely up from last year.”

The shape of the week has also changed since the same period in 2022, with Wednesday to Saturday now accounting for 69.3% of sales which is an 8.8% increase versus last year.

Winter warmers

Traditional winter drinks like stout and ale have climbed in popularity as the weather cools. Stout has seen the biggest gains (30.3%) since last week with ale sales rising 10.3%.

Senior added: “We’re also seeing the return of local office bookings as well and friends and family groups, and we are already getting lots of bookings for New Year’s Eve from people who want to stay local to avoid any transport issues.”

On the other hand some categories have lost out, with premium lager and core lager sales dropping by 10.2%, and 9.7% respectively.

This week has also seen footfall drop by around 1% with Wednesday falling 3.3% and Thursday 3.2% versus 2022.

Feet through the door

Friday and Saturday footfall has risen by 1% and 2.1% respectively. Hardest hit are city centres where footfall was down 2.1% versus 2022.

Suburban and rural areas faired best with Friday and Saturday being the strongest days.

Overall dwell time grew to 126 minutes versus 120 minutes in the same week last year with city centres driving the highest growth.

All locations benefitted form an increased consumer visit length with suburban places growing by 4.1% in consumer dwell time and rural pubs by 3.4%.

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