Marston’s: Customer demand ‘encouraging’ despite living pressures
Pub operator Marston’s has said it is still seeing Brits head to their locals in recent weeks despite pressure on budgets.
Like-for-like sales were buoyant over the 10 weeks from 24 July to 1 October ,increasing three per cent on the 2019 financial year.
Total like-for-like sales had sunk one per cent compared to the 2019 financial year, due to the impact on consumer sentiment and trading in the Omicron Covid-19 wave last winter.
“Whilst we are not complacent and can’t predict what the future will hold, what is clear is that people want – and are continuing – to visit our predominantly community pubs,” Andrew Andrea, chief executive officer, said.
The pub group was looking forward to cashing in on the autumnal World Cup kicking off next month.
Shares in the hospitality operator were up more than three per cent in late morning trading on Tuesday.
In May, Andrea told CityA.M. that Brits would continue to be “social animals” at the pub, despite historic inflation levels.
“Having been locked up for two-three years, we are even more social animals,” he insisted.
“In times of economic challenge, people look for flight to value” he told CityA.M. Pubs were well placed to take up market share from restaurants as consumers pursue cheaper nights out, the CEO said.
What’s more, punters were still keen to pay for a quality experience. Even with price rises, drinkers were prepared to swallow higher costs if it was “the thing [they] want to do,” Andrea said.