Pockets of Britain are seeing good growth in restaurant, pub and bar sales despite flat overall trading and a contraction in numbers of licensed premises, CGA’s latest ‘Top Towns’ report shows.

The exclusive analysis, drawn from CGA’s Trading Index database, shows that Aberdeen recorded the highest year on year sales growth in the four-week period to 8 September 2018. Its growth of 15.6% put it just ahead of two Midlands towns: Walsall (15.1%) and Dudley (14.6%).

Other towns and cities with high single-digit growth—including Swansea (9.1%), Poole (9.0%) and Salford (6.8%)—are spread around Britain. The ‘Top Towns’ report also identifies strong trading in central London’s West End, with like for like sales in the WC postcode up by 9.5%, and in EC by 5.6%.

These and other locations have been trading well ahead of the general market. The latest Coffer Peach Business Tracker report reveals that like for like sales for leading managed pub and restaurant groups rose by just 0.6% in August. The CGA and AlixPartners Market Growth Monitor meanwhile indicates that Britain’s total number of licensed premises fell by 2.5% in the year to June.

The ‘Top Towns’ report highlights modest like for like sales growth in major cities beyond London—including Liverpool (0.9%), Sheffield (0.9%), Leeds (1.5%) and Manchester (2.4%). Trading was brisker over the four-week period in Bristol (5.1%) and Edinburgh (6.3%).

The full 100 Towns report is exclusively available in full to CGA’s Trading Index Data Partners. Contact Andy Dean at andrew.dean@cga.co.uk for further information about the report and the benefits of becoming a partner on the Trading Index.


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