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Fears after Paris attacks hit London bar sales

Public nervousness following the terror attacks in Paris last month, when 129 people lost their lives, has hit sales in London bars and restaurants.

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London’s bar and restaurant sales have suffered in the wake of the Paris terror attacks last month

According to Coffer Peach Business Tracker, off-trade venues in the capital city experienced a 1.5% decline in like-for-like sales last month, with chain restaurants feeling the biggest impact.

Such groups saw collective sales drop of 2.6% compared to the same period last year, while managed pubs lagged 0.8%.

Peter Martin, vice president of CGA Peach, the business insight consultancy that produces the Tracker in partnership with Coffer Group, said that the rest of the UK on-trade delivered a collective sales uplift of 0.3% in November.

“When you consider that October had seen a 2.5% jump in like-for-like sales nationally, with London up 3.5%, you can see the scale of this November’s fall-back,” he added. “Also November 2014 had seen a 3.4% increase on 2013.

“The public’s nervousness is understandable and it seems London has been affected both by a drop-off in tourist business and Londoners not staying out as long after work. Operators are reporting both reduced sales and cancellations of bookings, in restaurants and late night venues.”

He continued: “London will be hoping that public confidence returns for the Christmas and New Year festive season, in what should be the industry’s busiest trading period.”

Trevor Watson, director at Davis Coffer Lyons, part of the Coffer Group, said that sales have also likely been hit by a strong sterling, which has affected the spending of overseas visitors to the capital.

“This longer-term effect, combined with the short term effect of the Paris bombings, is resulting in weak statistics for London in November,” he added. “With the local London economy overall in good health, operators should however continue to look forward to a strong December.”

For more information on what action bars are taking to become more vigilant after the Paris atrocities, see the January 2016 issue of The Spirits Business magazine.

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