‘Super Saturday’ is a pivotal turning point for pubs to build sustained sales post-pandemic, says GlobalData

The UKs nightlife is forecast an alarming £10bn loss by the end of 2020* as a result of COVID-19 lockdowns. For this reason, July 4th, which has been dubbed ‘Super Saturday’ as pubs and bars reopen their doors, marks a potential turning point for the industry. As consumer confidence is currently volatile, operators must use this opportunity to reassure consumers and build a trusted post-COVID brand image if they wish to see return visits in the following months, writes GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

GlobalData’s COVID-19 adjusted forecasts reveal that the UK pubs, clubs and bars market will see an expected 38% decline to hit £16.3bn in 2020*. What’s more, consumer sentiment is echoing this unease over lost profits, with 97% of UK consumers currently reporting to be concerned about the national economic situation*2.

Jenny Questier, Senior Consumer Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “First impressions are everything, and that is exactly what Super Saturday represents for Britain’s nightlife scene. Confusion around what consumer can do, as opposed to what they should do is putting increased emphasis on their own judgements at a more local level. Operators must use Super Saturday to put their best foot forward, striking the right balance between consumer’s expectations – that is maintaining both a sociable and relaxed atmosphere without compromising on the appropriate safety considerations – should they want to sustain sales going forward.”

This week, GlobalData found that one in five (21%) UK consumers are intending to spend more time socializing outside with friends and family now that restrictions are being removed*2, however, this has dropped slightly since last week. Similarly, the number of consumers in London who are likely to spend more time socializing outside of the home is 3 percentage points lower this week*2 – an alarming decrease given London’s position as a buzzing metropolitan city. High rent and fierce competition between operators in such locales will only further exasperate the situation should this downward trend continue.

Questier adds: “The local lockdown in the city of Leicester, and reports that other UK cities may soon see the same, may help explain the slight drop in those wanting to socialize outside, reflecting increased anxiety over the easing of lockdowns. The expected spike in traffic this weekend is likely to be a novelty, but it is important to note how this behavior can be encouraged to sustain consuming footfall and spending. Building a reputation as ‘safe, clean and fun’ will be pivotal for operators in the longer-term.”

*GlobalData’s COVID-19 Impact Market Model – Foodservice – UK – LCU – June 26th update

*2GlobalData’s Bi-Weekly COVID-19 Recovery Tracker Survey – UK – *2Week 2 (July 01), *3Week 1 (June 17)

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