The British Beer & Pub Association, the leading trade association representing brewers and pubs, has today revealed that pubs will sell 37 million fewer pints and lose out on £297 million in trade this Christmas.
The stark figures come as the trade association also reveals that last week alone (Sunday 5th to Saturday 11th December) that over 3 million pub visits were cancelled.
The trade association says it expects cancellations to increase after the Government advised people to avoid events or plans in the days ahead of Christmas in the Prime Minister’s press conference on Omicron on December 15th. It says its members are already seeing a dramatic drop in footfall in their venues.
The BBPA says that although no new restrictions have been announced the message to the British public to avoid socialising is just as damaging for pubs.
In an urgent response to the advice, it has today written to Chancellor Rishi Sunak pleading with him to deliver financial support to pubs and the wider hospitality sector. It says the Chancellor must do this in recognition of the decimation the sector faces to its trade this Christmas because of the Government advice.
Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said: “Pubs will sell 37 million fewer pints and lose out on £297 million in trade this Christmas. Over 3 million bookings in pubs were cancelled last week alone.
“The Government’s message to avoid socialising is a hammer blow to our sector. It will shake public confidence dramatically to go out and visit the local.
“Although no new restrictions have been announced, the message to not socialise is hugely damaging to our sector.
“This is one of the most important trading periods of the year for pubs and a time we should all be able to enjoy the local. Instead, pubs are in purgatory – allowed to stay open without restrictions, but with people essentially told to avoid them.
“The Government must take responsibility and step in to save pubs this Christmas. We’ve written to Chancellor Rishi Sunak as a matter of urgency to provide the vital furlough and grant provisions our pubs need, in addition to VAT and Business Rates support.
“Without support pubs across the UK have a real fight on their hands for survival.”