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Wed 22nd Jul 2020 - Update: Gorilla and The Deaf Institute, alcohol, tea and coffee sales, Britvic
Tokyo Industries buys Manchester live music venues Gorilla and The Deaf Institute out of administration: Terms have been agreed for Aaron Mellor’s led Tokyo Industries to acquire The Deaf Institute and Gorilla, previously operated by Mission Mars, out of administration. The Manchester venues will operate in much the same way as they have done in the past. Roy Ellis, chief executive of Mission Mars said: “It’s really great news for our teams and the music loving people of Manchester that both venues have found such a perfect new home. The bad news announcement last week regarding the closure plans galvanised an unprecedented level of interest from passionate operators from across the region and even beyond. I’m extremely grateful that we’ve been able to find a new and appropriate new home for these amazing venues and people.” The deal was agreed over the weekend and legals are well underway. Team members have been informed and their reaction was ‘predictably upbeat and excited’. Aaron Mellor, founder of Tokyo Industries, said: “These are extremely difficult times for all grassroots music venues around the UK, It’s vital venues like Gorilla and The Deaf Institute are kept alive, the cultural fabric of our city centres depends on venues like these. Over the weekend we’ve put together some great ideas with SSD Concerts and Tim Burgess (The Charlatans) to help save both venues and their existing operating style in a post-covid world. We’re not so keen on this ‘new’ normal and want to keep the ‘old’ normal alive for when we all get through this.” Steve Davis, from SSD Concerts, added: “The music industry is facing some of its toughest times at the moment. Ever since I first promoted a Charlatans acoustic show at The Deaf Institute ten years ago, I have had a real love for the venue so it will be an honour to work on the next chapter in their stories – Gorilla is one of my favourite places to watch gigs in the whole of The north west’s amazing music scene.”

Sales of alcohol, tea and coffee soar in UK supermarkets: Sales of alcohol, tea and coffee in UK supermarkets and corner shops have soared since the lockdown as the nation’s drinking habits have become home-based. The value of beer, wine and spirits sold through grocers was up 41% in the past month, even though pubs in England started to reopen on 4 July, as consumers continue to eat and drink at home. Grocery stores also rang up an extra £24m in tea and coffee sales in the past month, and an additional £19m on biscuits – marking a continued shift towards home consumption. The sharp rise in sales of beer, wine and spirits in the past month has underpinned the fastest rise in grocery sales since records began 26 years ago. Sales of groceries, excluding takeaway food and drink, rose nearly 17% in the three months to 12 July, with local shops and online services accounting for the bulk of that growth, according to the market research firm Kantar. Coca-Cola said its sales of tea and coffee had dived by nearly a third in the three months to June, largely due to the temporary closures of nearly all its Costa cafes in western Europe during the period.

Britvic reports 16.3% decline in sale in Quarter Three: Britvic has reported year-to-date revenue of £1,027.7m, a decline of 5.1% on last year, while Q3 revenue declined 16.3% to £328.9m. The company stated: “As anticipated, and previously communicated in our interim results, covid-19 has impacted performance. Significant declines in out-of-home consumption were partly offset by strong growth in At-Home consumption, resulting in market value share gains across our business units. In March we estimated the impact of full covid-19 restrictions on adjusted Ebit in 2020 at between £12m to £18m per month, net of mitigating actions. As we entered the crucial summer trading period lockdown restrictions started to ease and the hospitality industry has gradually begun to re-open. It is however too early to judge the impact this will have on the business; we therefore maintain our previously estimated monthly impact of full covid-19 restrictions on adjusted Ebit.” Simon Litherland, chief executive, said: “As expected, Q3 demonstrates the full market impact of the covid-19 lockdown. We have continued to focus on the clear priorities we set to navigate through the pandemic, which have helped us to manage our business effectively and to deliver a third-quarter performance in line with our expectations. I am pleased with both the market share gains and the performance across the channels open to us, however in the near term there remains a high degree of uncertainty about the pace and level of full recovery. Looking further ahead, I am confident that the strong momentum we built up going into the pandemic will return, and that our long-term strategy will continue to create value for all our stakeholders.”

Escape Hunt to release new download: Escape room operator Escape Hunt has announced the upcoming release of its newest download, print and play game Doctor Who: The Hollow Planet. It is a one hour experience suitable for two to six players aged eight plus. The game can be played via video chat by friends, family members or colleagues. Downloads cost £14.99 per game. Richard Harpham, chief executive of Escape Hunt, said: “We are delighted to announce the release of Doctor Who: The Hollow Planet which brings together our recent success in offering downloadable play-games with our exciting partnership with BBC Studios and adds to our growing catalogue of experiences that can be enjoyed outside our physical rooms.”

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