On-trade

English pubs lose out on rugby business

The pub trade in the UK is likely to be among the hardest-hit retailers following England’s untimely departure from the Rugby World Cup.

Martin Caffrey of the Federation of Licensed Victuallers Association told the Publican & Morning Advertiser trade newspaper there that, “This will see a massive loss of business. England games are a big, big bonus for our members because people come in to watch the games.

“It’s a similar impact when our football team go out at the World Cups. It equates to a huge loss of revenue.”

But at the British Beer & Pub Association headquarters Neill Williams pointed out that there was still a lot of interest in the tournament, especially for home nations like Wales.

The PMA reports that the BBPA had previously predicted that some 25 million extra pints would be sold as a result of England’s taking part, raising turnover at pubs for the duration of the tournament to around £86 million.

But in conversations with publicans prior to England’s demise, the PMA found them to be disappointed by the turnout for the tournament to date with Gloucester licensees describing the first weekend of the tournament as “terrible” for pubs in the locality with fans being herded away from such venues and towards ‘Fanzones’ with big screens.

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