Dry January: the reason for decline in pub sales

Published on by Kelly Wong (author)

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Pub trades in Brighton say they are experiencing a lack of sales due to Dry January.

Dry January is when people give up alcohol for the entire month. The campaign is officially run by the charity, Alcohol Change UK, which first launched in 2013. 

The charity reports that around four million UK adults take on the challenge every year.

Dr Richard Piper, CEO of Alcohol Change UK, claims that it comes with a list of benefits such as “sleeping better, feeling more energetic, saving money, better skin and losing weight”.

By taking part in the annual movement, the good news is that your liver and wallet will thank you. 

The bad news is that your local pub may be suffering from a decline in sales this month.

Manager of The Joker Pub in Brighton, James Miller, says: “coming from December, which is one of our biggest times of the year, it’s such a drastic change to January where the pub is basically empty”.

Miller adds: “We try and get more people through the door with Dry January drinks but at the end of the day we are a pub and our main trade is alcohol”. 

He reports that he has seen a loss in profit and has to resort to cleaning during the day to cure his boredom. 

It’s not all doom and gloom though as food delivery company, Deliveroo, have estimated that alcohol orders are expected to surge on the 19thof January. This suggests that people can’t help having a mid-January tipple.

BBN spoke to the residents of Brighton at Churchill Square to find out what they think about the campaign and if they’ve had a drink this month, despite it being Dry January. 

One resident said: “I did have a drink last night; I don’t normally partake in Dry January, but I do believe in moderate drinking”.

Another said: “Yes I have had a drink this weekend. I think in January, you need to be cheered up, so a few drinks are a jolly good idea”.

From the people BBN spoke to, the majority expressed the idea of drinking in moderation rather than taking part in the month-long intervention.

According to the British Liver Trust, they say that giving up drinking isn’t necessarily a good thing as the people most desperate to prove they can go without a drink are problem drinkers. Instead, they advise: “to drink sensibly throughout the year and have a few dry days every week”.








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