Pubs and off-licences set for a boost as Scots plan Burns Night blowout, reports Worldpay


Pubs, bars and off-licences across Scotland are set for a Burns Night boost this weekend as the country raises a toast to the Bard of Ayrshire, according to Worldpay, the UK’s leading payment processing company.

Worldpay’s analysis of 2014 spending in Scotland reveals daily takings at off-licences in some parts of the country rose by as much as 65% on Burns night compared to the first three weeks in January, as dinner party hosts stocked up on single malts to accompany the traditional haggis, neeps and tatties.

Pubs in towns and cities across Scotland also saw takings rise by up to a fifth, with many landlords choosing to host specially-themed nights to mark the birth of Rabbie Burns.

Aberdeen topped the list with pub and off-licence sales rising 21% and 65% respectively. Burns Night spending in Glasgow saw pub takings increase by 16%, while off-licence sales were up by 27%. In Edinburgh, trips to the pub on Burns Night boosted trading by 19%, while at-home celebrations fuelled a 33% rise in off-licence sales.

Dave Hobday, managing director, Worldpay UK, said: “January is notoriously quiet for on and off-licence traders, so we’re seeing landlords and specialist retailers go all out to coax customers out of their post-New Year austerity with a wee dram or two in honour of Scotland’s greatest poet.

“It is estimated that celebrations around 25 January contributes more than £150m to the Scottish economy each year, and this hasn’t gone unnoticed south of the border. Pubs right across the UK are now looking at Burns Night as a way to kick-start trading after the traditional post-Christmas lull.”