With the risk of local lockdowns around the UK appearing to rise, CGA’s Trading Index shows their immediate impact on the out-of-home eating and drinking sector.

The Index, the market’s leading source of EPOS-level data and insights, demonstrates the close correlation between lockdowns in some parts of north west England and sales in Manchester, the region’s biggest hub for eating and drinking out. It suggests that with so many consumers respecting the local restrictions, trade from social occasions is taking a hit.

For most of July, the deficit in year-on-year sales in Manchester was just below the national average. But in the week after regional restrictions were introduced on 1 August, Manchester’s sales dipped to 34% below last year’s levels—well down on the countrywide figure of 22%. In the most recent full week (from 8 August) the gap had stretched to 19 percentage points, with Britain’s sales down 10% but Manchester’s down 29%.

Guidelines for the Manchester area have stopped residents socialising with people they don’t live with, and CGA’s Consumer Pulse survey shows that restrictions quickly reduce people’s use of pubs, restaurants and other venues. Among consumers in the north west who have been out since hospitality reopened, around a third now say they have had to cancel eating or drinking-out plans due to restrictions.

Local lockdowns may also dent people’s confidence about safety, even if they are not directly affected by them. Two thirds (68%) of consumers say they are worried about their local area returning to lockdown, and more than three quarters (77%) are concerned about a second wave of COVID-19 cases.

These figures show that any restrictions on movement have an immediate and damaging impact on footfall and trading,” says Charlie Mitchell, CGA’s Research & Insight Director. “Our consumer data suggests that the majority of consumers are respecting government guidelines, and that will hopefully help to keep the pandemic under control and the need for lockdowns to a minimum. But while the risk of new restrictions remains, the confidence of both consumers and businesses is likely to stay frail.”

To learn how CGA’s Trading Index, Consumer Pulse survey and other research sources can help you benchmark performance and plan strategies for growth, please contact Charlie Mitchell at charlie.mitchell@cga.co.uk.


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