Sunday Drink Sales Pick Up On Second Weekend Back, But Trading Still Down

Total drinks sales in England’s managed pubs and bars remained around half pre-COVID levels on the second Saturday after reopening, but Sunday trading picked up.

CGA’s new Drinks Recovery Tracker, which compares average daily drinks sales per site to the market average on the equivalent day in 2019, showed drinks sales down -51% on Saturday, July 11, marginally below the -49% for the first Saturday of reopening.

However, drinks sales were markedly better on Sunday, July 12, down -41% on the equivalent day last year, and a better performance than the previous Sunday when sales were -52%.

Beer sales were down -46% on Saturday and -38% on Sunday. Soft drinks saw the biggest improvement on the first weekend, down -49% on Saturday and -34% on Sunday, compared to -58% and -55% the week before.

Spirits performed roughly in line with the market on Saturday at -52% but better on Sunday at -33%. Wine sales were -47% on Saturday and -46% on Sunday.

“On this second weekend we’ve seen more people venture out for a drink on a Sunday, and interestingly there was a marked improvement in soft drink sales, even if well below pre-COVID norms. That may be explained by more families being out and people tempted to travel further,” said CGA’s Director of Client Services Jonny Jones.

“It’s also worth noting that the corresponding Sunday last year was sport’s Super Sunday, with Lewis Hamilton winning the Grand Prix, the epic Wimbledon Final with Djokovic and Federer as well as England winning the Cricket World Cup,” he added.

The Tracker is also picking up weekday trading, and those numbers show that the market has mid-week challenges with total drinks sales in managed pubs and bars on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday down 58%, 62% and 56%, respectively.