Fuller’s hopeful the return of City workers will help pub sales hit pre-Covid levels
Pub operator Fuller’s said it hopes its City pubs will see a boost to trade thanks to workers’ “strong desire” to get back to the office.
In a trading update for the 43 weeks to 22 January 2022, the pub operator said it had been impacted by Omicron measures last month.
As corporate Christmas parties were cancelled and City workers avoided the office, managed like for like sales in the four weeks to 1 January shrunk to 72 per cent of 2019 levels.
Prior to the emergence of the Covid variant, the pub’s estate had seen sales reach 90 per cent of pre-pandemic levels, following a full reopening of the business on 19 July.
The business has seen “further momentum” in recent weeks as consumer confidence returned following the government’s announcement it would ease all plan B measures this week.
Fuller’s chief executive Simon Emeny said: “We are seeing an improvement in trade and expect that to quicken further now that the Government has lifted Covid restrictions. We saw sales rise steadily in the City after previous lockdowns, and recent trading patterns suggest that there is a strong desire among many workers to return to office working.”
The pub chain boss said he anticipated a rise in the number of international tourists would also drive trade at London sites and those in other tourist destinations.