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Christmas 2021: boom or bust?

Published:  24 January, 2022

James Lawrence finds the festive season was a mixed bag, with reduced sales in many areas but some sectors exceeding expectations.

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Consumer caution hits Christmas drinks sales

Published:  20 January, 2022

On-trade drinks sales fell by a quarter in the run-up to Christmas as wary consumers avoided pubs, bars and restaurants ahead of socialising on the big day, as Andrew Catchpole reports.

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Cold Christmas in the on-trade

Published:  18 January, 2022

Already battered on-trade businesses suffered further in what should have been their busiest time of year. Clinton Cawood reports.

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Hospitality sales rebound in late December

Published:  10 January, 2022

Consumer footfall across the UK’s hospitality sector increased between Christmas and New Year, according to the latest CGA Drinks Recovery Tracker.

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Sparkling wine delivered bumper Christmas sales

Published:  06 January, 2022

The sparkling wine category was the clear winner of the Christmas retail bonanza, with both merchants and analysts reporting bumper sales.

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BWS retail sales decline in December 2021

Published:  05 January, 2022

Overall retail sales of beers, wines and spirits fell in the month of December, when benchmarked against Christmas 2020, though spending remained higher than it was pre-pandemic.

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Tough Christmas prompts new calls for extended relief for hospitality

Published:  04 January, 2022

New figures from UKHospitality show that pubs, bars and restaurants lost £10,335 on average in the week leading up to Christmas, due to fears over the new Covid-19 variant.

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Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from Harpers

Published:  22 December, 2021

With Christmas almost upon us and 2022 chasing up behind, the Harpers team would like to wish all in the drinks trade a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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Bouncing Back Q&A: Matt Tipping, CEO, Jeroboams

Published:  22 December, 2021

Matt Tipping reflects on keeping the wheels turning through 2021 and how valuable new custom should bring cheer into the new year, despite the looming additional tax burden on wine.

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Yuletide cheer

Published:  22 December, 2021

With supply and delivery issues forcing indies to be nimble and imaginative for the Christmas rush, Andrew Catchpole asked a trio of merchants how they prepared for the festive sales spike in such an unpredictable year.

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Sunak announces new relief for hospitality sector

Published:  21 December, 2021

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced a further round of grants of up to £6,000 per hospitality premise, also committing to a top up of discretionary grant funding, as part of a £1 billion package to support the sector.

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Bouncing Back Q&A: David Gates, CEO, Laithwaites

Published:  13 December, 2021

Continuing our seasonal Bouncing Back Q&A series, David Gates, CEO, Laithwaites takes stock of the challenges and lessons of 2021 and considers the path ahead for the trade.

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A Plan B Christmas will put the industry under “severe pressure”

Published:  09 December, 2021

A re-tightening of restrictions is threatening to put a pin in Christmas celebrations, causing more gloom for the hospitality sector as the government rubber stamps plans to introduce vaccine passports for late-night venues.

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Extra travel restrictions threaten Christmas

Published:  06 December, 2021

Additional travel restrictions to the UK are threatening to deal an additional blow to the hospitality and foodservice industries as the government grapples with the march of the Omicron Covid variant.

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Concerns over Christmas bookings for hospitality

Published:  03 December, 2021

Leading trade associations have raised concern about the impact that Covid-19 and the new variant Omicron is having on Christmas bookings for the sector.

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Majestic reveals the trends to watch this Christmas

Published:  12 November, 2021

Sparkling wine and Champagne, Beaujolais, Rosé, bag-in-box and wines from South Africa are tipped to be some of the top sellers this Christmas, Majestic Wines has predicted.

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Majestic returns to TV screens with first ever Christmas advert

Published:  08 November, 2021

Majestic, the specialist wine retailer, is to hit TV screens this Christmas with a new national campaign.

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Young consumers set to embrace Christmas trading

Published:  02 November, 2021

Young adults are set to embrace pubs, bars and restaurants for Christmas celebrations, but older people may be more hesitant about eating and drinking out, new research from CGA has revealed.

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Christmas 2021: An optimistic appraisal

Published:  27 October, 2021

The British tabloids have spoken: Christmas 2021 is unlikely to yield much festive cheer. Unfortunately, this isn’t simply press hyperbole – the UK’s food industry is under enormous pressure, while retail supply chains continue to be stymied by a lack of HGV drivers.

Meanwhile, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) released a set of data in September which confirmed that the on-trade staffing crisis has not abated. “Sourcing staff has been one of our biggest challenges since we reopened,” says Avinash Shashidhara, head chef at Pali Hill restaurant in London.

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The big freeze

Published:  18 October, 2021

The tailbacks at Felixstowe are the latest plot-twist in the ongoing Covid and Brexit supply saga which is causing disruption for operators. Jo Gilbert looks at the impact on bulk shipments.

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