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Fri 29th Apr 2022 - London’s hospitality sector edges back as sales and footfall rise in Britain’s city centres
Londons hospitality sector edges back as sales and footfall rise in Britains city centres: London’s pubs, bars and restaurants are gradually returning towards pre-covid-19 levels of visits after two years of disruption, according to new research from CGA and Wireless Social. The Top Cities Vibrancy Report combines CGA’s sales data with device log-in data from Wi-Fi provider Wireless Social, to provide a “vibrancy” ranking of Britain’s ten most populous cities over the four weeks to 9 April 2022. After finishing last in the list for three periods in a row, London has moved up to eighth this time. While trading remains just below the levels of March and April 2019, the return of more office workers and tourists to the capital leads to confidence that sales and check-ins will rise further as 2022 goes on, the report said. Glasgow has topped the list for the second successive time, where sales were up by 8% on 2019, and check-ins only 10% below. It is followed by Birmingham and Manchester, which also saw sales growth. London is replaced at the bottom of the chart by Sheffield, where sales have been flat and check-ins are still a third off 2019’s levels. Across Britain’s top ten cities, CGA’s data shows average sales in the four weeks to 9 April were 3% ahead of the same period in 2019, while Wireless Social’s figures indicate device check-ins remain 32% down. CGA client director Chris Jeffrey said while much of the pre-pandemic vibrancy is returning, cost-of-living pressures on consumers “cast a shadow over prospects”. Julian Ross, founder and chief executive of Wireless Social, added: “During the summer months we should see an uplift with a number of occasions set to drive excitement among consumers including the Jubilee, women’s Euros and the Commonwealth Games. However, huge uncertainty remains present, as city centre-based firms continue to adopt flexible working practices that, for the most part, will continue to be damaging for hospitality.

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