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Three Tier local lockdown system devastating for on-trade

Published:  21 October, 2020

Pubs, bars and restaurants under the “very high” Tier 3 local lockdown level have already seen a daily sales drop of 60% or more, according to new data from CGA.

Based on sales from Thursday 15 to Saturday 17 October compared with the same period last year, the figure of between 60-62% sales drop reflected Tier 3 rules stating that only outlets serving substantial meals can remain open, but with people forbidden to meet anyone from outside their household.

Sales were down 26% on the previous Saturday, driven primarily by drinks sales, which were already down 43% on the week before.

For businesses under Tier 2 restrictions, the drop was lower, but still down between 46-54% over the same Thursday to Saturday period.

Venues under the lighter Tier 1 rules also suffered, with a 22% and 28% year-on-year drop being recorded.

Specifically on drinks, the data revealed that alcohol sales had been particularly badly impacted.

It noted a “particularly steep drop in drinks sales in top-tier areas, where alcohol can only be served with substantial meals. Businesses in these areas saw drinks sales fall by 73% year-on-year last Saturday, compared to a 59% fall in second-tier regions and a 31% drop in all other places”.

With the on-trade having already been impacted by the 10pm curfew, the spirits category has seen the sharpest fall in sales.

“These figures lay bare the instant and seismic impact of the new tiered system on hospitality,” said CGA group chief executive Phil Tate.

“The loss of nearly two thirds of daily sales in top-tier areas like Liverpool is catastrophic for local operators, and with Greater Manchester now set to join them there is a lot more hardship to come.”

Tate also singled out the issues facing businesses labouring under Tier 2 conditions, which have seen big declines in customers, with no mixing from differing households allowed, yet without the financial support offered to those under Tier 3 restrictions.