Summer of floods dampens beer sales

13 July, 2007

Abnormally bad weather, a lack of sports events and rising interest rates have been blamed for a slump in summer beer sales.

Scottish & Newcastle and InBev UK both reported lower than average sales for June with S&N re cording a 5 per cent decline in the beer market during the first half of the year.

Steve McAllister, managing director of take home at InBev UK, said: "With average temperatures considerably lower than for the same period last year, and with no major summer event such as the 2006 World Cup, the industry has seen an impact on sales during the first part of summer."

However, he said predictions of warmer weather in the second half of the summer could mean a boost to sales.

Steve Parfett, managing director of Parfetts cash and carry, said there was "no doubt" that heavy rain and low temperatures were causing a drop in beer sales at independent retailers.

"In the independent trade, it's absolutely crucial that the weather is good to secure beer sales in the summer ," he said. "That's the way it goes in this sector which is particularly dependent on impulse sales," he said.

Beer sales at one depot were down 5 per cent compared with the same week the previous year, Parfett said. "Overall sales for last week were disappointing - soft drinks were down too," he added.

Bargain Booze joint managing director Matthew Hughes said year-on-year sales of beer for June were lower than usual.

Dave Banks, owner of Fairview Off-licence in Gillingham, Kent, believes the latest interest rate rise is responsible for slow sales in his shop.

He said: "I don't think it's just the bad weather. I think there's such a lot of debt, people can't afford to spend money on extras and with interest rates going up it makes it worse."

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