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UK Alcohol Sales Rise By Nearly A Third During Coronavirus Lockdown

UK Alcohol Sales Rise By Nearly A Third During Coronavirus Lockdown

UK alcohol sales have skyrocketed since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, rising by almost a third while other markets' sales suffered the steepest fall since the Office for National Statistics (ONS) began recording sales data in 1996.

In total, alcohol sales - in volume terms - rose by 31.4 percent, according to the ONS.

Whilst off-licences and supermarkets showed an increase in sales during the nationwide lockdown, clothing sales dropped by 34 percent.

As you can probably imagine, online sales also surged to their highest percentage share of total retail ever, up to 22 percent.

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Shops such as off-licences were added to the UK Government's list of retailers in the UK that are deemed essential, and they saw their sales jump up by a massive 31.4 percent.

A customer buys beer from an off-licence. Credit: PA
A customer buys beer from an off-licence. Credit: PA

However, with most people choosing to buy their booze from the supermarket when they make a journey there to get everything else, off-licences only contributed less than one percent of the total alcohol sales.

These figures obviously show that the people of Britain are dealing with the Covid-19 lockdown by staying inside their homes and consuming more alcohol.

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According to consumer analysts Kantar, sales of alcoholic drinks went up by 22 percent in March, an total sales of beer, wine, and spirits totalled £1.1bn in the four weeks to March 22.

That's nearly £200m more than the same period last year.

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However, whilst it's good news for the booze purveyors, there are significant fears for the rest of the economy.

Supermarkets have also seen a rise in sales. Credit: PA
Supermarkets have also seen a rise in sales. Credit: PA
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With sales of just about everything that isn't food and drink down, and the hospitality industry left completely inactive, some policymakers believe that the UK could be in for the worst economic shock in several centuries.

One member of the Bank of England's interest-rate setting committee, Jan Vlieghe, told the BBC that the 'early indicators' are that the UK is already 'experiencing an economic contraction that is faster and deeper than anything we have seen in the past century, or possibly several centuries'.

He did caveat that by saying that the UK could return to a pre-virus state once this is all over.

So far this year, clothing retailers Oasis, Warehouse, Debenhams, Cath Kidston, and Laura Ashley have all experienced financial difficulties. More are likely to follow, as this crisis continues.

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Debenhams went into administration earlier this year. Credit: PA
Debenhams went into administration earlier this year. Credit: PA

Some believe that retail will never be the same again. However, that could be good news for those businesses who've tried to adopt a more empathetic approach to the crisis.

Lisa Hooker, a PriceWaterhouseCoopers consumer markets leader, said: "We don't expect the pattern of post-lockdown spending to be exactly the same as before, with our latest survey indicating that consumers intend to reward more responsible retailers.

"Particularly those who looked after their staff, and shop more on their local high streets and with smaller or independent retailers, giving some more hope to many of the hardest-hit operators."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Food, uk news, Money, Food And Drink, COVID-19-Negative

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Tom Wood

Tom Wood is a LADbible journalist and Twin Peaks enthusiast. Despite having a career in football cut short by a chronic lack of talent, he managed to obtain degrees from both the University of London and Salford. According to his French teacher, at the weekends he mostly likes to play football and go to the park with his brother. Contact Tom on editorial@ladbible.com