‘Best start to summer season in years’

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Some companies have reported that takings are up 20 per cent compared to the beginning of previous seasons, while others are struggling to take on any more business even after employing extra staff.

With the warm sunny weather likely to continue – temperatures of 25°C have been forecast for the weekend – the demand on such businesses is expected to continue.

Sales of ice cream, rosé wine and cider are also up, according to the Channel Islands Co-operative Society. Gin sales have soared 105 per cent during the recent hot weather.

Sean Kinsella, operations manager for Absolute Adventures in St Brelade’s Bay, said that his team had been working longer days to cope with demand.

‘It is the best start to the season that I can remember since I started at the business five years ago and we have been absolutely flat out since May. It has just been non-stop,’ he said. ‘There have just been a lot more people on the beach and, particularly during the week, people have been staying down here a lot later.

‘A lot of kids have been coming down after school too so we have not been closing up until about 6.30 pm.’

Mr Kinsella added that the company had had to hire additional staff to cope with demand and that the business was running at more or less maximum capacity.

‘We have had to stop doing sunset kayak tours to take the pressure off the staff and if the weather continues like this that is likely to be the case until August,’ he said.

‘Our trade is about 60 per cent locals and 40 per cent tourists and a lot of the visitors we are seeing are returning to the Island after being here during previous years.’

Further up the beach, George Le Gallais, co-owner of Sunnyside Deckchairs, also said that he was experiencing a boom in business and was excited for the rest of the season.

‘We have just had the best June that I can remember in the four years that we have had the business and it is still carrying on,’ he said.

‘It is difficult to say but I would say our takings are up about 15 to 20 per cent compared to the same time last year.’

And business has been booming off the beach too with Jersey Heritage reporting the best start to the season for a decade.

Jeremy Swetenham, commercial operations director for the organisation, said that although local people tended to go to the beach on warm days, they had seen a larger influx of international visitors at their sites.

‘We are up overall by about two per cent compared to the same time last year and have seen around 7,000 more international visitors, particularly from Germany, which represents a rise of about 30 per cent.

‘Above 20°C we normally see people going to the beach but the temperatures have been so high that people have been coming to our attractions, particularly La Hougue Bie, to seek shade.’

Liberation Group, which has pubs in Jersey, Guernsey and the UK, has reported an overall eight per cent boost in sales during the last ten weeks, due to a combination of the World Cup and the good weather. It has also reported a 7.7 per cent rise in sales locally.

The Lookout Beach Café at First Tower has reported a 15 per cent increase in sales of ice cream compared to the same period last year.

André Vitel, owner of A.R. Vitel Family Butchers in St John, said that he had sold thousands of sausages in the last few weeks as demand for barbecue food has soared.

‘It has just been absolutely flat out and each week we have been shifting hundreds of sausages, sometimes even thousands,’ he said.

‘I would say this is the best start to the season since 2015. We are up on May, up on June and we are already up on July.’

Meanwhile, Mark Cox, the Channel Islands Co-operative Society’s chief operating officer, said: ‘Due to the hot weather we’ve seen a rise in sales. For example, in the last four weeks we have sold 25% more ice creams and 30% more pizzas compared to this time last year. Alcohol sales have also increased, including 15% more rosé wine, 36% more cider and 105% more gin.’

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