|Mixed Olympics results for drinks trade|
|Written by Gemma McKenna|
|Thursday, 16 August 2012 11:44|
The Olympics has brought a mixed set of results for drinks businesses - on-trade firms near Games venues saw uplifts in sales while other sites went quiet, while the off-trade saw sales of sparkling wines grow as customers celebrated Team GB medal wins.
A spokeswoman for Sainsbury’s said: “As the Olympics coincided with a spell of hot, sunny weather, we saw a cumulative benefit on hot weather categories like cider and rosé wine as customers got together with family and friends to cheer on Team GB.
"Indeed, we saw sales increases in Champagne and Sparkling wine with an increase of 31% and 29% respectively year on year as customers celebrated our gold medal wins at home. Our mini bottle wine range also saw an increase of 6% year on year, potentially as a result of customers buying them to take on picnics or for watching the Olympics on the big screens dotted around the country.”
Jo Davy, marketing manager at Davy’s winebars which operates over 25 sites across London, said: “Both Davy’s Wine Vaults and Davy’s Wine Shop in Greenwich gained a lot of extra trade from the equestrian visitor footfall which was fantastic. We hosted some of the Olympic equestrian teams a number of times too.
“Other sites in and around the City of London & West End didn’t fare as well as employees were encouraged to work from home or work alternative hours to avoid rail and road delays. Trading in these locations varied but the worst scenario saw drops of up to 50% in the first week, although the effect was far less in the second week as people realised it was possible to travel around London with relative ease.”
She added that now the Olympics are over, she expects to see a boost in sales as people return to work, and “some upturn” during the Paralympics.
Over at Mitchells & Butlers, a spokeswoman said: “A few of our businesses that are close to key venues certainly benefited from the Olympics.Two of our Nicholson’s pubs in London Bridge, the Mudlark and the Horniman, enjoyed record-breaking weeks, as did our All Bar One sites in Butlers Wharf and Canary Wharf. O’Neill’s in Earls Court and, outside London, our Harvester in Windsor saw excellent growth. However, the vast majority of our 1600 businesses were not directly affected by the Olympics and overall trading has followed the expected growth trends.”
Neleen Strauss of City restaurant High Timber, wrote a letter to London mayor Boris Johnson’s office complaining about the negative impact on her trade. “It wasn’t about the money,” she told Harpers, “I really believe the Olympics was fantastic on TV and live, but someone needs to take responsibility to explain why they got it so wrong and why London turned into a ghost town. We’re still very quiet, down by 60%, but I’d like to know why we were told to take on extra staff and take extra measures for the deluge of people that would arrive.”
A spokeswoman for Corney & Barrow said: "We were extremely happy with our night deliveries through the Olympics, and were surprised that nearly all the daytime deliveries in Central London passed without a hitch too as the streets were less congested than we predicted.
"In fact, following conversations with both customers and our logistics team we have changed our initial plan and decided to revert to our normal day delivery schedule for the Paralympic Games.
"Trade was as expected: prior to the Games we had anticipated business in the West End would be slightly down, with more locals choosing to take their holidays at the time than usual, and the tourists staying close to the Olympic Park and other venues, and this has proved to be the case. We feel that the events running late into the evening in many cases also contributed to people staying local to the park to eat and drink, which also had an impact on business in the centre of town."
A member survey by the British Hospitality Association showed trade was down by 40% on average in the week prior to the Olympics.