“Business over the month was excellent everywhere with 70% to 80% of the pubs up 11, 12 or 13% on last year” he told Drinks Industry Ireland, “and not just in the city centre but in the suburbs too trade is well up.”
What’s more, it wasn’t merely the key days that saw a boost in business, he added, but it was maintained for the whole month.
“That’s in addition to Stephen’s Day, New Year’s Eve and the two Fridays before Christmas – there was a lot of spending, nothing but positive reports,” he said.
He also pointed out that young people had been drinking a wide range of beers and spirits too and not just the traditional brands.
“It’s the first time in six or seven years that we’ve seen trade that solid,” he concluded, “There was definitely heavy trading going on.”
John Ferriter in the Cock & Bull in Coolock had no doubts.
“The business over Christmas was flying,” he said, “We were very surprised and happy with it; it was quite surprising, especially round here – but we got great support from our locals.”
The VFI’s Padraig Cribben was equally upbeat.
The feedback on Christmas trading has been very positive,” he told Drinks Industry Ireland, “The lead-in to Christmas was somewhat slow but when it took off it was very good.
“The majority of members would have reported a significant increase on the previous few Christmases. Some locations were hit with very bad weather on a few key days but apart from that mostly positive,” he reported.