London slowdown indicated by Fuller’s numbers. Statistical blip or the end of an era? Likely neither…

June 13 2016

London pubs, bars & restaurants in 60 seconds….

London trading has been great. It might be getting a little less so.


  • LfL sales have been chugging along at 4%, 5%, 6%…
  • Whilst extremely positive, capacity has been increasing, new units have been going on
  • New entrants (vibrant, innovative, relevant) are opening units apace
  • Occupancy costs have risen sharply; a lead-indicator, they may be a little off the top

Other indicators:

  • Hotels have slowed – albeit from record high occupancy, REVPAR levels.
  • Partly a supply problem, they are still servicing an increased number of visitors
  • Sterling weakness should have been a positive
  • But MERL & some shops have suggested numbers aren’t what they might have been

Fuller’s comments today:

  • Group reports ‘another excellent year…’
  • But FY15 is over & comments re current trading hint at a slowdown
  • Managed LfLs +5.6% in H1, +5.3% by wk43 and +4.8% for the FY. To wk10, they are +2.7%
  • H1 Tenanted profits were +3% but +2% at FY. To wk10, they are down 2%
  • Beer volumes were +1% at H1 but minus 1% for the FY. To wk10, they are down 5%.


  • Before leaping to conclusions we should acknowledge:
  1. April was poor across the industry but May was better.
  2. Wk10 comps included Easter last year but not this
  3. The weather can swing numbers +/- 20% LfL on a day-to-day basis
  4. The group updates analysts at 11am.


  • London is not ‘over’ but growth may have, at the very least, slowed
  • YNGA & FSTA are obvious players but GNK/MAB are more London-heavy than is MARS