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Vagabond under ‘no threat of closure’ despite appointing administrators

Published:  07 March, 2024

A spokesperson for Vagabond Wines, the popular ‘self-pour’ wine bar chain founded by Stephen Finch in 2009, has confirmed the business will continue to trade as usual despite running into financial difficulties.


Q4 restaurant closures highest-ever

Published:  28 February, 2024

Restaurant closures surged to the highest-ever quarterly figure in Q4 2023, according to accountancy firm Price Bailey.


Hospitality sales flat in January as consumer spending squeezed

Published:  15 February, 2024

Britain’s leading hospitality groups generated like-for-like sales growth of just 0.1% in January according to CGA.


State of the Nation Survey

Published:  17 January, 2024

Harpers received over 160 responses to our State of the Nation Survey, which canvassed the views of on-trade operators, multiple/indie retailers as well as distributors/importers spanning the length and breadth of the UK. Jo Gilbert takes the UK’s temperature.


Ecommerce set to swell alcohol sales, even as growth slows

Published:  13 December, 2023

The value of alcohol e-commerce is set to see slowed growth over the next five years as sales normalise following Covid. However, value is still forecast to increase by a hefty $7.5bn as online growth continues to outstrip traditional sales.


Naked Wines announces £15m loss after delaying results

Published:  20 September, 2023

Yesterday (19 September), online wine retailer Naked Wines announced a £15m loss in the year to 3 April. 


Large operator profit doubles, though challenges remain

Published:  17 July, 2023

The percentage of the UK’s largest restaurant companies turning a profit has doubled in the last year, according to new figures. However, further interest rate rises now hover over the horizon. As a result, hospitality’s biggest operators could be facing new challenges on their return journey to profitability.


Strong April for hospitality cancelled out by inflation

Published:  24 May, 2023

Britain’s leading managed restaurant, pub and bar groups achieved like-for-like and YOY sales growth of 6.9% in April 2023, the latest Coffer CGA Business Tracker reveals.


Insights: (Some) reasons to be cheerful

Published:  19 April, 2023

Wine’s long-term decline continues while spirits and beer have enjoyed a Covid rebound. However, several markets, including the UK, have seen a resurgence in the total number of wine drinkers, with the rise of premium sales also offering positives. Jo Gilbert looks at the numbers.


Rising consumer confidence is the blue sky we’re all looking for

Published:  08 March, 2023

Hospitality has had a rough three years. As the dust settles on Covid, we are still coming to terms with the impact of closures and restrictions which wreaked havoc on the nation’s ability to socialise, and this cut a vast swathe through industry profits. Ultimately, Covid-19 decimated sales and led to thousands of venue closures and job losses. But a new survey looking at consumer opinion offers a smidgeon of light at the end of the pandemic and cost of living tunnel.


More hospitality closures in 2022 than Covid-hit 2021 reports CGA

Published:  20 January, 2023

In a new report published by CGA, inflation in energy bills and other costs led to a net decline of 1,611 licensed premises in the fourth quarter of 2022.


Inflation pilfers December gains for hospitality

Published:  18 January, 2023

Britain’s leading managed pub, bar and restaurant groups enjoyed their best December trading in three years, the latest data from CGA has revealed. However, thanks to double digit inflation, sales remain well below pre-Covid levels in real terms, demonstrating the double pronged impact of the cost-of-living crisis and Covid recovery on UK businesses.


The business of bartending

Published:  11 January, 2023

The evolution of the bartender during Covid and beyond continues to define a role that calls not only for impeccable drinks and cocktail-making skills, but commercial savvy, too. Clinton Cawood reports


Taking stock: UK beverage businesses are in midst of ‘inventory crisis’

Published:  30 November, 2022

UK beverage manufacturers are now holding more than double the amount of stock compared to pre-pandemic levels, as delays and shortages take an increasing toll on the global supply chain. 


Profile: The Wine Society

Published:  22 November, 2022

Having traded for almost 150 years, The Wine Society made short shrift of Covid’s trickier challenges, using them as a springboard to greater growth. Jo Gilbert reports


The Wine Yard, Surrey’s newest drink-in/take-home bolthole

Published:  30 August, 2022

Just over 40 miles from London, Farnham’s new watering hole, The Wine Yard, has become part of the regeneration that is taking place in the UK’s satellite towns. During Covid, many places felt the wrath of the virus and its various mitigation measures, with lockdowns leaving shop and restaurant fronts empty along what were once the more bustling parts of the nation’s high streets. 


Friday Read: The post-pandemic hangover for hospitality

Published:  12 August, 2022

Nick Gillett, MD at specialist spirits company Mangrove UK, talks challenges and opportunities for the still beleaguered on-trade.


Profile: Following on from FMV

Published:  19 July, 2022

Two years on from the dismemberment of FMV, Bancroft Wines is focusing on initiating its new producers into the ‘family’ in a post-Covid world. Jo Gilbert reports.


Jerry Lockspeiser: Confused by the economy?

Published:  27 May, 2022

First Brexit, then Covid, and now a major war in Europe. The economic landscape has been knocked from side to side, then up and down, and is now lurching in the most unpredictable fashion. Managing business strategy in these circumstances is extremely tough. If dealing with known unknowns is hard, facing unknown unknowns is extraordinarily challenging.


Managed groups' like-for-like sales up 2% in April, but cost pressures stunt growth

Published:  17 May, 2022

Britain’s leading managed restaurant, pub and bar groups recorded like-for-like sales growth of 2% in April 2022, the latest Coffer CGA Business Tracker reveals.