The latest data from CGA and Wireless Social indicates a gradual recovery, with average sales in the four weeks up to 9 April ahead of the same period in 2019

Average sales in the four weeks to 9 April were 3% ahead of the same period in 2019 across Britain’s top 10 cities, according to the Top Cities Vibrancy Report from CGA and Wireless Social.

The report, which provides a ‘vibrancy’ ranking of the 10 most populous cities, indicates London venues are gradually returning to pre-pandemic levels while Glasgow, Birmingham, and Manchester also saw sales growth.

After finishing last in the list for three periods in a row, London moved up to eighth. While trading remains just below the levels of March and April 2019, sales and check-ins rose in correlation to the return of office workers and tourists to the capital.

Sheffield replaced London at number 10 as sales remain flat and check-ins are one-third off 2019 levels, while Glasgow saw sales increase by 8% on 2019 and check-ins 10% below.

Across the 10 cities, device check-ins remain 32% down despite the rise in sales.

CGA client director Chris Jeffrey said: “Closures and the shortage of office workers, visitors and shoppers have taken a heavy toll on hospitality in London, so it’s good to see signs that much of the pre-pandemic vibrancy is returning. Regional cities are also building back well, raising hopes for a strong summer.

“However, cost-of-living pressures on consumers cast a shadow over prospects, and with operators’ energy, food, labour and other costs rising sharply too, we can expect more bumps on city centres’ road to recovery.”

Julian Ross, founder and CEO of Wireless Social, said: “During the summer months we should see an uplift with a number of occasions set to drive excitement amongst consumers including the Jubilee, women’s EUROs and the Commonwealth Games.”

“However, huge uncertainty remains present, as city centre-based firms continue to adopt flexible working practices that, for the most part, will continue to be damaging for hospitality.”