Hospitality braces for £100m in lost sales ahead of biggest day of strikes in over a decade

Half a million workers are due to strike this Wednesday, marking the biggest day of industrial action in over a decade

Retail and hospitality figures have described strike action set to take place on Wednesday as “damaging” to the sector and “entirely avoidable”. 

Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UKHospitality told City A.M. she estimates union strikes this week will set the sector back a further £100m in lost sales, with “much of that impact being felt in London”. 

Nicholls said: “The situation is entirely avoidable but provides yet another pressure for a sector contending with soaring energy costs, workforce challenges and dampening consumer confidence. 

“Hospitality continues to suffer as collateral damage as a result of this dispute, so it’s vital that all parties reach an agreement as soon as possible to prevent unnecessary damage to businesses at this increasingly challenging time.”

On Wednesday, half a million workers, including train drivers, teachers and civil servants, are set to strike in what will be the biggest planned industrial action since 2011.

Kris Hamer, director of insight at the British Retail Consortium, told City A.M. that the upcoming rail strikes, which will also take place on Friday, will be damaging for retail, as strikes “limit commuter, leisure and tourist traffic”. 

He said: “Given the reliance of London on its public transport system, it is likely that many people will choose to work from home to avoid travel disruption, impacting already-vulnerable city centre businesses reliant on their custom. UK footfall remains down on pre-pandemic levels, and this will only slow the progress retailers have made to bring people back to stores.”

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