January bar sales – largest volume decrease of all retail sectors

Bar sales volumes fell 91% while values fell 90% last January compared to January 2020 according to the Central Statistics Office's latest seasonally-adjusted provisional Index of Retail Sales.


Bar sales were down 91% last January compared to February 2020, before the pandemic began.

Bar sales were down 91% last January compared to February 2020, before the pandemic began.

January’s bar sales were down 75% in both volume and value when compared to the previous month, December 2020. Indeed January saw bar sales experiencing the largest decrease in volumes of any of the retail sectors.

Final figures published for December show bar sales volumes down 63% on the same month in 2019 while values fell 62%.

Not surprisingly, as Lockdown restrictions eased, December’s bar sales volumes showed growth of 369% over the November 2020 figures while bar sales values jumped 381%.

Across the three-month period November 2020 to January 2021 the CSO provisionally estimates that seasonally-adjusted bar sales volumes fell 80% while values were down 80% when compared to the same period in 2019 to 2020.

Bar sales volumes were down 57% from November 2020 to January 2021 when compared to the preceding three months August to October while bar sales values declined 56%.

The general volume of retail sales decreased by 22% in January when compared to December 2020 on a seasonally-adjusted basis. On an annual basis, retail volumes were 14% lower in January 2021 compared with January 2020.

Retail sales generally in January 2021 were 14% lower than in the previous February 2020, before the crisis started, but bar sales were down 91%.

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