Pandemic takes it toll on vending and OCS

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A survey carried out on vending and OCS businesses has revealed an average 64% fall in turnover in March to May when compared to the same period in 2019.

The report by the Automatic Vending Association (AVA) and the European Vending and Coffee Service Association (EVA) aimed to gauge the financial impact of the COVID-19 on the industry; measure the change in March to May 2020 throughput; look at expectations to the year-end; and look ahead to how 2021 might start.

The headline drop across all operating businesses was an average 64% fall in turnover in March- May 2020 versus the same period in 2019 while for those operating in public and business & industry sites, the turnover fall was even greater. Almost three quarters or respondents have seen a reduction in income of 61-99%.

These figures were slightly lower for suppliers (manufacturers, product and service providers), with an average drop of 56% in sales versus 2019.

All companies expect the fall in sales/turnover to continue into 2020 with at least a 20% reduction versus 2019.

Many association members found it necessary to participate in the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, with 63% having to put staff on furlough. For suppliers this reduces to 47%.

AVA chief executive, David Llewellyn said: “What we can now quantify is the horrendous impact the pandemic has had on the UK vending and OCS service, we can only hope that all our members and their staff remain healthy and well and that their businesses withstand the negative turnover impact it has had. Despite all this uncertainty, we have not heard of any member’s businesses going under – and we hope that remains the case. Our members have, as always, proved to be resilient and resourceful in addressing business challenges.”

Anyone wanting to obtain the complete set of reports should contact the EVA on