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Arc Inspirations Announces Record Festive Trading

Premium bar operator Arc Inspirations has reported a record festive trading period, including registering the biggest ever individual sales day and week in the group’s 20-year history.

Arc operates a number of fast-growing premium bar brands across the North of England, including Banyan Bar & Kitchen, BOX and Manahatta. The company enjoyed 6% like-for-like sales growth over the festive season (1 December to 1 January), with total sales up 10.5%.

Several of the group’s sites boasted record sales weeks, with Arc’s three Manchester bars growing like-for-like sales by an impressive 12%. The performance of these bars illustrates that the group’s strategy of operating sites in ‘clusters’, with several venues located in close proximity and complementary to each other, continues to pay dividends.

The notable performance come off the back of a strong December the previous year, which saw like-for-like sales increase by 6.5% and further emphasis the enduring strength of the business as it looks to continue its openings programme this year.

Highlights include:

  • Two consecutive weeks (w/e 15 Dec and w/e 22 Dec) topped £1m in net sales

  • Arc Inspirations’ Manahatta bar in Deansgate was the stand-out performer, achieving net sales of £145,000 for the week ending 15 December

  • The group posted its biggest ever trading day on Saturday 14th December

  • Improved gross margin across the period to 74.5%

  • New Year’s Eve saw an 11% increase in sales

  • Pre-booked sales grew over the period, up to 31% of total turnover from 24% the previous year.

  • The best-selling cocktail across all the bars over the period was the Pornstar Martini, along with the company selling over 100,000 vodka serves.

Commenting on the performance, Arc Inspirations CEO Martin Wolstencroft, said: “Christmas 2019 has smashed all records for Arc Inspirations and gives us great momentum heading into the new year. This success shows our differentiated proposition is clearly attractive to customers seeking memorable experiences and underlines the opportunity for the business to continue opening sites in carefully selected locations in regional cities.

“Our focus on premium products, maintaining high margins and growing pre-booked sales through targeted sales and digital activity has led to this impressive performance. To register our two biggest ever sales weeks in the company’s history is an outstanding achievement and once again testament to our fantastic, committed, hard-working teams in all our bars.”

The company’s financial results for its most recent year showed another successful period of strong growth and targeted expansion. Turnover increased 16.7% (£3.9m) from £23.3m to £27.2m, with like-for-like sales +1.1%.

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