Irelands on-trade is in a "crisis situation", according to DIGI

Ireland's on-trade is in a "crisis situation", according to DIGI


The on-trade in the Republic of Ireland is experiencing “effective meltdown”, according to the Drinks Industry Group of Ireland.

Citing figures from the Revenue Commissioners and Central Statistics Office, the trade body warned today (13 September) that the country's on-trade has seen sales in the first seven months of this year plunge by 14.1% on the corresponding period a year earlier. Eire's alcohol sales in total, however, have recorded a 6.4% improvement in the first six months of 2010, thanks, DIGI claims, to the Government’s excise reduction announced as part of Budget 2010.

“Last year, DIGI consistently pointed out that Ireland’s high levels of alcohol taxation was a key reason why many consumers were opting to travel to Northern Ireland to do their shopping and called on the Government to address this by reducing excise,” said DIGI's chairman, Kieran Tobin.

“Their welcome decision to do so has clearly worked,” Tobin continued. “Official data shows that the overall drinks market increased by 6.4% in the first six months of 2010, driven exclusively by double-digit growth in off-sales, offset by strong declines in the on-trade.”

Meanwhile, DIGI's secretary, and CEO of the Licensed Vintners Association, Donall O’Keeffe, went as far as to claim that the country's on-trade is “in a crisis situation”.

“In the short to medium term, there is absolutely no sign of market conditions improving for the pub trade,” O'Keeffe said. “Rather, the likelihood is that current trends will continue forcing many publicans out of business and thousands of subsequent job losses.”

The DIGI added that it will continue to work with the Irish Government ahead of Budget 2011, “in identifying further effective stimulus measures that will help support the hospitality industry and provide a boost to the wider economy”.

DIGI’s membership consists of drinks manufacturers, distributors and the country's retail sectors.