bbb Distilled – March ’21

After one of the most challenging times in hospitality we thought we would share some positive news from the wider industry and what’s happening at bbb. This will be the first of many ‘good news’ updates from the team at bbb.

We’re seeing positive sales trends across our portfolio
We finished the year with a ‘bang’ in Q4 2020, with revenue in Q4 equal to that of Q2 and Q3 combined. Our strong online presence really benefited us during lockdown. Our sales followed this positive trend in January and February ‘21 with an overall +200% figure L4L in January alone.


Say hello to our new listings
We have secured a national listing for four of the Manly Spirits range in John Lewis. This demonstrates our commitment to have our brands available in the most UK’s finest retailers. Read how we did it here.

Since the market has shifted more towards online retail in the past 12 months we have seen a number of new online retail startups spring up. We are proud to support new independent business like Hipflask, Tipples & Company, Gin Warehouse and The Spirit Specialist. We are pleased to see our partnerships with these retailers flourish with them placing regular orders and expanding their range products from the bbb collective.


A clear path forward?
The industry is revving up to reopen across the UK after Monday’s good news on the relaxation of lockdown restrictions. This includes the High Court ruling that:

  • The ‘substantial meal’ rule won’t return
  • Curfews will no longer be in place
  • Evidence must back decisions on any further restrictions
  • There will be a further challenge to the outdoor restriction measures

What does this mean?
If all goes well, hospitality businesses will be able to re-open on April 12th for take away alcohol and outdoor dining. The relaxation of the ‘substantial meal’ restriction means that 66% more businesses can legally open than could have in 2020. This means more establishments open, employing people and serving their communities. Removal of curfews will also help extend business hours, prevent binge drinking and overcrowding at ‘last orders’ and on public transport. Certainly, the longer the current severe restrictions are in place for the more hospitality businesses we are likely to see fail. We are estimated to be losing four hospitality businesses an hour since December 2019.

Confirmation that the Lower VAT rate for hospitality firms will be maintained at 5% rate until September should help encourage eating and drinking out of home. We hope these changes can help hospitality have a positive impact on the economy, rather than a drain. Things are looking up for 2021 and beyond with the economy expected to rebound in 2021, with predicted annual growth of 4% this year and 7.3% next year according to the BBC.

We welcome these updates to the rules and we say a big thank you to Sacha Lord, the Night Time Economy Adviser for Greater Manchester, and UKHospitality Chief Executive Kate Nicholls for standing up for the hospitality industry.


A dog named Lilly Pilly

We have our first dog named after one of our products!  Thanks to the wonderful Jane AKA (Mothers_not_ruined_) who has named her Dalmation puppy Lilly Pilly, after Manly Spirits Lilly Pilly Pink Gin! Please check out her brilliant gin-themed Instagram page.  


We’ve rebranded!
This year we thought it was about time our branding kept up to speed with how fast our business is growing. The old brand we had wasn’t fit for purpose anymore. It became clear that we needed to rethink our positioning, our story, our brand image and our communications to achieve this. COVID-19’s been a blessing in that sense: it gave us time to do some introspection to (re)discover who we are, what our mission is and what we stand for.

Having a fresh new look and feel will also help us attract the best brands and the best talent, and externally communicate our ethos.

We’re very happy with our new branding and the feedback so far has been great. It’s a fresh feel and look and it’s put a spring in our steps in our mission to ‘bounce back’ from this challenging year! you can read the process on how we went about our rebrand here.

Until next month!

All the team at bbb.