Researchers estimate that the first UK lockdown cost the UK hospitality and high street businesses £45b in turnover. A study undertaken by the universities of Cambridge and Newcastle used data from the ONS (Office for National Statistics) to compare retail, hospitality, and online sales within the UK from March to August 2020 compared to figures from the same periods between the years of 2010-2019.
The shortfall for hospitality sectors such as bars, pubs and restaurants were “dramatic”, said researchers, with the first lockdown causing sales to fall by as much as 90% below the usual business level, totaling around a £25b loss in revenue. However, hospitality sales saw some recovery post-lockdown due to schemes such as ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ but revenues were still down 25% compared to usual end of summer sales.
Sales in ‘food and beverage services’ suffered the most in terms of revenue loss. In February 2020, turnover was £5.7bn, which is just shy of the usual £6b business estimates. But by March this figure had slumped to £4.3b which is 2.4b less than the predicted £6.7b.
“Understanding the monetary impact of the pandemic is important to gauge the magnitude of the damage and can help the government design policies to assist these sectors” said Dr Luca Panzone from the university of Newcastle, who co- authored the study with Dr Shaun Larcom and Dr Po-Wen from the university of Cambridge.
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