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On-trade sales in five US states plummet 48%

Sales in bars across California, Florida, New York, Illinois and Texas dropped 48% in the week ending 5 December compared with the same period in 2019, according to a new report.

Stay home orders forced bars and distilleries in California to close

The Nielsen CGA Restaurantrak data set reports sales velocity across the US on-trade, which measures average dollar sales per average on-trade outlet.

According to the latest report, which covers the week ending 5 December, bar sales across five states were up 5% compared with the previous week, but remain almost half that of 2019.

Compared with 28 March, when the US on-trade was ordered to close to stem the spread of Covid-19, sales were up 146%.

The Nielsen CGA Restaurantrak report measured sales in California, Florida, New York, Illinois and Texas. California was the only state to witness a decrease in sales velocity compared with the previous week, with sales down 14% during the week to 5 December compared with the week ending 28 November.

Year-on-year sales velocity for California was down 49%.

During the period, lawmakers in California tightened restrictions in place to stem the spread of Covid-19. Across counties in Northern California, the Bay Area, Greater Sacramento, San Joaquin Valley and Southern California, regional stay home orders were in effect.

The orders meant that bars and distilleries in affected areas had to close. Restaurants in counties enforcing stay home orders were able to open for takeaway or collection orders only.

Across the other states studied, week-on-week sales in Florida, New York, Illinois and Texas were all up. Texas posted the highest increase, up 13% compared with 28 November, and Illinois, Florida and New York saw on-trade sales rise 1%, 3% and 4% respectively.

Despite marginal gains in the on-trade, sales velocity remains down on 2019 levels in all four states.

Sales velocity in New York dropped 60% and Illinois witnessed a 70% fall in on-trade sales compared with 2019. Texas and Florida both reported that year-on-year sales velocity had decreased by 19%.

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