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Weaker pound and Brits staying in the UK over Christmas gave trade welcome boost ahead of Brexit-laden 2017

Published:  13 January, 2017

Analysts have suggested that struggling sterling swaying Brits to stay in the UK over the festive season 2016 is the reason that outlets are celebrating record sales this week.

Consumers didn't let the devaluation of the pound hold back their spending during festive season.

And despite the premiumisation trend and data showing that people are drinking less but better, the rapid growth reported by the multiples this week might seem a little at odds with the current economic situation.

Analysts have suggested that the weaker pound might have played a part in this uplift however, as consumers opted to stay in the UK rather than go abroad for Christmas where exchange rates were unlikely to be favorable.

A festive uplift is sales is usual in November and December, but like for like sales have grown, as has been reported by POS provider Paymentsense, where YOY transactions were up 8% compared to 2015 (data taken from the payments for beer, wine and spirits through Paymentsense systems.)

"This winter has left alcohol retailers looking like the cat that got the Irish cream with our merchants seeing a 29% increase in sales over the period November-December 2016," Guy Moreve at Paymentsense said.

"While this may come as no surprise to those who enjoy a tipple over the festive period, the same liquor-selling merchants have also seen a marked increase in sales over same period compared to the previous year.

"The reality is that with the pound far weaker than it was this time last year, those who traditionally spent the festive period abroad may have decided to spend their Christmas a little closer to home this year."

As well as Morrisons, Aldi and other retailers hailing record Christmases, the on-trade is also reporting bumper sales.

Cocktail group The Adventure Bar, saw like for like sales jump by more than 10% over the eight week festive trading period, with the newest venue in Seven Dials adding an additional 44% to overall total sales.

During that time, its four sites served 47,000 guests, made over 51,000 cocktails and sold over 32,000 beers.

The trade is facing tough times and more uncertainty, but for now, The Adventure Bar's director Tom Kidd is right when he says that the results have created a "springboard" into what could be a difficult year.