Scotland’s licensed trade is increasingly optimistic about their economic future and are committed to maintaining standards in the industry, according to the latest quarterly research from the Scottish Licensed Trade Association.
Over half of the respondents (56%) said that their business performance had either remained the same or grown by 10% in 2016, compared to the same period last year. Sixty eight per cent were optimistic that their business in June would either be the same or have grown by 10% year/year.
Despite economic pressures, the trade is committed to investment in people, with 95% of the trade investing or continuing with the training they have. As expected, rural or countryside locations continue to feel the most pressure, with 50% reporting year on year decline.
Food continues to be a growth area, with 45% of the market showing year on year growth. The rise of craft beer has also been reflected in the survey. Half of the respondents said they had experienced an increase in craft beer sales, nearly double the number of premises that reported a rise in total beer sales (26%). Three quarters of respondents had increasing concerns about Government legislation, with 75% citing it and minimum wage legislation as their biggest challenges.
Paul Waterson, chief executive of the SLTA said, “For the first time we asked retailers about their investment in training, and despite the challenging economic conditions we are delighted to see retailers continue to invest in the future. Far from being a stop gap job, we are being successful at attracting people who want a long-term clearly defined career path. We see ourselves as an integral part of delivering Scotland’s ambitious food and drink plans.”
The quarterly Business Insight Survey from SLTA is made up from responses from over 700 on trade outlets from across Scotland.