St Patrick's Day sales bubble across on and off-trade

Lisa Riley

St Patrick’s Day proved lucrative across the alcohol industry with no signs of Brits giving up alcohol for lend.

Sales in wines bars boomed – up 92% compared to the previous year, while a 69% jump was recorded across public houses, bars and inns, according to research by Paymentsense – based on all payments that went through the merchant services provider’s card machines on the celebratory day.

Sales also sparkled in the off-trade, with wine, spirit and beer up 54%, making it a very prosperous day for retailers.

The off-trade growth was boosted by cash savvy consumers who opted to stay in and celebrate with a takeaway and shop bought alcohol – fish & chips shops for instance saw a 116% increase in sales, according to the research.

The impressive figures were due to Saint Patrick’s Day falling on a Friday this year, compared to last year’s Thursday, said Guy Moreve, head of marketing, Paymentsense.

Due to the outdoor parades that took place as part of the celebrations, the majority of businesses in the food and drinks industry were already expecting an increased demand, but the fact that it fell on a Friday had a “major impact”, he said, adding the day was “clearly” one of the biggest cultural and religious celebrations, not only across the UK but also the world.

In light of St Patrick’s Day falling on a Saturday next year, demand in 2018 were likely to be as high, if not more, said Moreve.



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