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Remote working harming US coffee shop trade, new report suggests

Changing working patterns in the US, where a third of paid working days take place outside of the office, has caused a reovery coffee shop sales following the pandemic to plateau following the pandemic, according to a new Bank of America report

A third of working days in the US are currently taken remotely, which is negatively impacting the volume of coffee sales | Photo credit: Kentaro Toma


Sustained rates of working from home are having a detrimental on US coffee shop sales, according to new Bank of America Institute research.  

The new report, which analyses merchant data from Bank of America Global Transactions, says a third of working days in the US are currently taken remotely, which is negatively impacting the volume of coffee shop sales across the country.  

The research indicates that US coffee shop trading remains below pre-pandemic levels despite an initial recovery following the first national lockdown in March 2020 and the lifting of most pandemic restrictions, including face mask mandates and social distancing directives. 

Data for New York and Florida highlights coffee shop trading significantly below January 2020 levels, at approximately 75% and 60% respectively.  

However, the report notes Texas, California and North Carolina as exceeding pre-pandemic sales volumes, with Texas operating at 200% of the comparative 2020 period. The report suggests this could reflect ‘migration trends, given their recent population growth’. 

The data for Midtown New York City, an area densely populated with offices, reflects data from Bloomberg’s Pret Index, which tracks Pret A Manger’s sales volumes in select cities as an indicator of wider economic health. 

In May 2022, Bloomberg reported that Pret’s sales in downtown New York, including Wall Street and Tribec, were less than half of what they were before the pandemic, ‘lagging months behind London’s financial districts’. The UK food-to-go and coffee chain operates more than 60 stores in New York.  

The Bank of America Institute was launched by the Bank of America in April 2022 to analyse economic trends in the US. The data in the report was based upon 10 million individual coffee shop transactions per month. 

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