Local alcohol suppliers and brewers have asked independent retailers for help in selling their stock to offset decline from hospitality closures during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Throughout the majority of last year, government lockdown had caused a significant loss in trade for the hospitality industry. Alan Mannings, of Shop on the Green in Canterbury, told betterRetailing the closures can help provide retailers with opportunity in the new year.

“Some local brewers have started coming to the shops to discuss supply, which is quite interesting. They can’t get to the pubs. We had a couple come in throughout December, and one doesn’t think they’ll reopen for a long while yet. This gap could still provide retailers with an opportunity for quite some time.”

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Chaz Chahal, of Simply Fresh Inkberrow in Worcester, added: “We’ve worked with local suppliers for a few years, and we’ve added a couple of new ones recently. What we’ve noticed is an increase in the range of niche alcohol available.

“The cost price has also increased. There was a lot of demand from customers buying more locally. Many of these companies don’t usually bottle their own alcohol, so they increased costs from having to take it to a local bottling plant to keep up with demand.”

The increase comes as retailers saw an opportunity in offering drinks such as cocktails and draught beer to customers during lockdown.

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Find out more on our coronavirus information hub for retailers