Hospitality site closures drop as Euros approach

By Gary Lloyd

- Last updated on GMT

Positive steps: pub closures have slowed in urban areas in particular (credit: Getty/franckreporter)
Positive steps: pub closures have slowed in urban areas in particular (credit: Getty/franckreporter)

Related tags Oxford Partnership Finance Sport

Hospitality sites closures have slowed in the past four weeks with the rate falling to minus 1% for the year to date.

Outlet closures have fallen to 1.8 sites per day to the end of April compared to 2.2 outlets in the previous month, according to real-time intelligence expert Oxford Partnership.

It added the biggest slowdown in closure rates is in urban areas as more businesses encourage workers to come back to the office.

Dwell time grows

And while consumer footfall is virtually flat versus 2023 – at minus 0.6% in the year to date – due to operators reducing their opening hours by about 1% in the latest period, the good news is consumers who are venturing out are spending a longer time over their occasions, meaning average dwell time continues to grow, albeit this growth has slowed in the past four weeks.

April’s consumer spending on overall eating and drinking out of home saw stronger growth than the previous month, up 2.8% compared to a 2.6% uplift in March.

This was driven by Easter trade in pubs, bars and clubs, where spend in the month rose by 3.9%, Oxford Partnership found. However, spend at restaurants decreased by 13.1% in April 2024 versus this time last year, a further decline compared to March 2024, registering a like-for-like decline of 12.6% against March 2023.

Optimism ahead

There was encouraging news from the May bank holiday when transactions were up 16.8% on 4 May compared to the previous Saturday, and 2.5 times as many sales were processed compared to the average day this year so far.

Oxford Partnership said there was “huge cause for optimism” as the trade looks forward to the men’s football Euro Championships finals with Scotland kicking off on their campaign against hots Germany on 14 June and England facing Serbia on 16 June.

The last tournament grew beer and cider like-for-like sales by 9.4% with the five ‘golden’ sales days, all including the home nations. The final, where England lost to Italy, saw sales soar by a whopping 131%.

Related topics Rebuilding the Pub Sector

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