Following today’s news (8 June) that UK beer gardens in pubs could reopen on 22 June as part of the Save Summer Six drive;
Carmen Bryan, Consumer Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers her view:
Reopening pub gardens by 22 June is a risky move. While it is no secret that the British pub is in dire need of a saving grace, rushing to reopen the sector could lead to another spike in infections, and prolong the closure of these and other vital businesses further.
That said, it is imperative that pubs and bars receive a lifeline soon, as they face additional challenges in adopting delivery compared to a restaurant.
The lack of footfall has translated into heavy losses in the alcohol industry. As per GlobalData’s latest COVID-19 adjusted forecasts, the global beer and cider market is not expected to recover to 2019 value levels until 2022, reaching US$630.4bn in 2022. This represents a significant -US$55.4bn loss when compared against the previous baseline value for the same year. This same decline is reflected in the UK market too, with the majority of manufactures struggling to shift stock meant for on-trade sale while their patrons in the nightlife sector have been stuck in limbo.
Should the sector reopen as planned, the seasonal weather and restlessness from consumers will drive immediate sales. But for long-term sustainability, operators must understand consumers concerns and design creative and safe solutions that comply with current social distancing measures.”