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Fri 17th Jul 2020 - English venues reopen to weekly sales 40% down on last year
English venues reopen to weekly sales 40% down on last year but performance better than many international markets: Managed pub, bar and restaurant groups with sites open in England in the first week after lock-down lifted have reported collective like-for-like sales were down 39.8% on the same week last year, according to the latest Coffer Peach Business Tracker. Figures for the week beginning 6 July showed 55% of group-operated sites had reopened for eating and drinking inside, up from the 36% trading on the first weekend restrictions were lifted. Full-week sales were also better than they were during the first Saturday and Sunday, when like-for-likes were 44.5% below pre-coronavirus levels. Pubs that were open over the week saw sales drop 39.3% on the same week in 2019. Bars that were open were down 42.9% and group-owned restaurants saw like-for-likes fall 40.0%. However, many more pubs opened their doors than restaurants and bars. The industry barometer showed more than two-thirds (70%) of managed pubs and pub restaurants traded, while only 17% of restaurants and 42% of bars were open for business. “Trading at almost 60% of pre-coronavirus norms is actually a better performance than many other markets, such as the US, experienced on reopening,” said Karl Chessell, director of CGA, the business insight consultancy that produces the Tracker, in partnership with The Coffer Group and RSM. “The sector still has a long way to go but this sets the benchmark against which the speed of recovery will be judged. Operators told us most would be taking a phased approach to reopening and we have seen this in the figures. The 70% of managed pubs in the first full week compares with just 42% over the first weekend, and although restaurants have been taking an even more cautious approach we know more will be open next week.”  In all, 44 companies provided data to the Tracker, with another 11 operators reporting they had yet to open any sites. CGA will report trading progress via the Tracker on a weekly basis as the market begins to recover and more sites reopen, including measuring week-on-week increases.

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