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Harpers State of the Nation Survey: Take part now

Published:  08 January, 2024

Harpers would like to hear from you regarding the Christmas period, your optimism (or lack thereof) for the year ahead, plus what you foresee to be the biggest challenges in 2024.


Nick Gillett: A festive ‘through the keyhole’ look at our columnist’s home bar

Published:  11 December, 2023

As MD of a spirits distribution company, you might imagine that my home bar is huge. And guess what – you’d be absolutely right. As someone who genuinely loves a good, stiff drink, learning about new producers and brands is one of the biggest perks of the job. And as a result of that perk, I’m now the proud owner of the best stocked bar in Woodford Green. So, in case it’s of any interest at all to the booze enthusiasts among you, here’s exactly what I’ve got stocked on my own bar at home.


OWC hails biggest ever Christmas

Published:  04 January, 2023

The year 2022 certainly had its challenges, with businesses struggling to make ends meet amid a soaring cost-of-living – and trading – crisis. However, one business is celebrating a bumper festive period, with last month offering up the best December in the company’s 30-year history.


Tying up 2022: Wishing everyone a very merry Christmas from Harpers

Published:  21 December, 2022

It’s that time of year for Harpers to wish all in the drinks trade a very merry Christmas as we speed towards the final days of another eventful year. 


Friday read: Savouring chocolate and wine

Published:  16 December, 2022

It’s always fascinating being taken out of one’s own world of intense focus – wine – and into another somewhat parallel, but also contrasting field of expertise. So when Cocoa Runners approached Team Harpers suggesting a wine and chocolate pairing session – also just ahead of Christmas – we jumped at the chance.


One in nine hospitality jobs still vacant despite pay rises

Published:  22 November, 2022

The staffing crisis is very much still underway heading into Christmas, data from CGA has revealed, with one in nine jobs in hospitality still vacant despite improvements in recruitment.


Pernod predicts return to form for Christmas spirit(s)

Published:  30 September, 2022

Pernod Ricard is banking on the return of a pre-pandemic Christmas atmosphere this year, with its festive campaigns revealing a heavy focus on leveraging treating behaviours amid a tense economy, bouyed by the world cup.


Christmas 2021: boom or bust?

Published:  24 January, 2022

James Lawrence finds the festive season was a mixed bag, with reduced sales in many areas but some sectors exceeding expectations.


Consumer caution hits Christmas drinks sales

Published:  20 January, 2022

On-trade drinks sales fell by a quarter in the run-up to Christmas as wary consumers avoided pubs, bars and restaurants ahead of socialising on the big day, as Andrew Catchpole reports.


Cold Christmas in the on-trade

Published:  18 January, 2022

Already battered on-trade businesses suffered further in what should have been their busiest time of year. Clinton Cawood reports.


Hospitality sales rebound in late December

Published:  10 January, 2022

Consumer footfall across the UK’s hospitality sector increased between Christmas and New Year, according to the latest CGA Drinks Recovery Tracker.


Sparkling wine delivered bumper Christmas sales

Published:  06 January, 2022

The sparkling wine category was the clear winner of the Christmas retail bonanza, with both merchants and analysts reporting bumper sales.


BWS retail sales decline in December 2021

Published:  05 January, 2022

Overall retail sales of beers, wines and spirits fell in the month of December, when benchmarked against Christmas 2020, though spending remained higher than it was pre-pandemic.


Tough Christmas prompts new calls for extended relief for hospitality

Published:  04 January, 2022

New figures from UKHospitality show that pubs, bars and restaurants lost £10,335 on average in the week leading up to Christmas, due to fears over the new Covid-19 variant.


Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from Harpers

Published:  22 December, 2021

With Christmas almost upon us and 2022 chasing up behind, the Harpers team would like to wish all in the drinks trade a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


Bouncing Back Q&A: Matt Tipping, CEO, Jeroboams

Published:  22 December, 2021

Matt Tipping reflects on keeping the wheels turning through 2021 and how valuable new custom should bring cheer into the new year, despite the looming additional tax burden on wine.


Yuletide cheer

Published:  22 December, 2021

With supply and delivery issues forcing indies to be nimble and imaginative for the Christmas rush, Andrew Catchpole asked a trio of merchants how they prepared for the festive sales spike in such an unpredictable year.


Sunak announces new relief for hospitality sector

Published:  21 December, 2021

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced a further round of grants of up to £6,000 per hospitality premise, also committing to a top up of discretionary grant funding, as part of a £1 billion package to support the sector.


Bouncing Back Q&A: David Gates, CEO, Laithwaites

Published:  13 December, 2021

Continuing our seasonal Bouncing Back Q&A series, David Gates, CEO, Laithwaites takes stock of the challenges and lessons of 2021 and considers the path ahead for the trade.


A Plan B Christmas will put the industry under “severe pressure”

Published:  09 December, 2021

A re-tightening of restrictions is threatening to put a pin in Christmas celebrations, causing more gloom for the hospitality sector as the government rubber stamps plans to introduce vaccine passports for late-night venues.