IT’S A TOUGH trade for Irish pubs at the moment as the recession and subsequent lower incomes have seen customers spend less of their discretionary money in bars and clubs.
Mid-year figures from the Drinks Industry Group of Ireland (DIGI) show that the on-trade has continued to see a fall in sales with volume decreasing by 8.2 per cent in the first seven months of 2012. The value of sales dropped by 7.3 per cent.
Average sales volumes are now 34.2 per cent below 2007 levels.
DIGI believes that the weakness in the domestic economy and the continued pressure on household incomes are “clearly having a negative effect on the drinks sector with the pub trade suffering disproportionally”.
“The pub sector is in crisis,” said Donall O’Keeffe of the DIGI. “The losses that are being experienced year-on-year, month-on-month, simply cannot be sustained. In the short to medium turn there is absolutely no sign of market conditions improving for the on-trade. Rather the likelihood is that current trends will continue forcing many publicans out of business and thousands of subsequent job losses.”
The industry has called on the Government not to increase excise in the upcoming budget, stating the pub sector could not deal with any further setbacks.