Rain interrupts play as Euro sales slump

Euro 2012 proved a washout for retailers as less lager was sold during the period than during the same two weeks in 2011. 

Retailers have blamed poor weather for the slump in sales.

This summer  has been well documented as the worst on record, and data compiled for Off Licence News by Nielsen shows volume sales of alcohol were down 3% over the eight weeks to July 1 compared with the previous year, with lager sales down 8%.

For the three weeks of Euro 2012, alcohol sales were down 1% and lager sales 7% compared with the same period in 2011.

Helen Stares, team manager at Nielsen, warned that “early indications aren’t looking good”. 

Gavin Warburton, category manager for beer and spirits at Tesco, said there had been no growth in year-on-year sales during Euro 2012.

But Waitrose retail director Rob Collins reported a surge in alcohol sales during the period and credited Wimbledon with further boosting sales. “Customers continued to stock up on beers for the football with sales rising by 8%,” he said.

“Malt whisky sales grew by an outstanding 41% and the arrival of Wimbledon fortnight underpinned a 32% increase in sales of Pimm’s.”

Despite Euro 2012’s failure to save retailers from an underwhelming summer, alcohol volume sales in 2012 are still 2% up on last year.

Carlsberg claims to have bucked the trend this summer, reporting a growth in sales of 48 million pints during Euro 2012, with value sales up 12%. 

“Tournaments are our bread and butter and we make sure we put everything into that period to drive volumes,” said brand controller Darren Morris.

Meanwhile, the jet stream blamed for the record-breaking bad weather is set to drift north this week, paving the way for sunshine and clear skies in time for the Olympics. 

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