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Guinness made of more on St Patrick’s Day

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In keeping with St Patrick’s Day celebrations, Retail Gazette decided to take a look at the brand that makes the day complete - Guinness.

Guinness has been quenching the thirst of consumers since 1759, when Arthur Guinness first signed the lease for the St. James’s Brewery on 31 December. The iconic company has already lasted a staggering 256 years, making it a fundamental part of retail history.

Though the company states that 10m glasses of Guinness are enjoyed worldwide everyday, the business has been declining in the last few years according to figures published by research firm, Euromonitor. Beer consumption has fallen by 20% over the past six years, while 2014 saw Diageo, the global leader in beverage alcohol, lose eight times the amount of sales in Britain as it gained in Ireland during the same period.

Decline can be put down to customers now having ‘too much’ choice. Supermarket shelves and pubs alike offer a range of beers, spirits and ales, which can leave businesses witnessing less brand loyalty.

However, Guinness is hoping to sell 7.5m pints today alone, following January’s announcement that Guinness’ sales had risen in Ireland for the first time since 2008. The company has already overcome over 250 years of turbulent history and January’s results show that brand is fighting back.

The IMRG Capgemini e-retail sales index confirmed that February saw the alcohol sector grow online by 42%. This is the highest annual increase for the sector since 2011.

A recent report by the London Business School and Credit Suisse also showed that alcohol is the prime sector to invest in. The study found that with dividends reinvested, investing £1 in UK brewing and distilling shares in 1900, would today be worth £243,152. Brewing and distilling companies have provided the best performing stock on the market for the last 115 years.

Regardless of Guinness’ sales dip in recent years, the company is fighting back, making the most of its media platforms and symbolic recognition on St Patrick’s Day :

“Sláinte! Happy St. Patrick’s Day. Enjoy Guinness responsibly” @GuinnessIreland tweeted this afternoon.

Published on Tuesday 17 March by Rachel Gee

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