Palace of Boozeminster? Drink sales soar in Parliament bars and gift shops

MP have been using Parliament’s bars in greater numbers, with people also snapping up more alcoholic beverages from the House of Commons gift shops, it has emerged.

Sales at the House of Commons gift shops have remained robust in the past few years, with the Main Souvenir Shop enjoying healthy sales. Last reported these were over £35,000 in 2011/2012 financial year, while the 2012/2013 financial year as measured up to 17 January, puts them on £27,1925. Meanwhile, the St Stephens Shop, leading up to the central lobby, made £60,6315 in sales in 2011/2012 and in the same current financial year, it has raked in £51,9637.

The nature of the top best-selling products in Parliament’s gift-shops gives a taste of what members of the public and tourists are buying. The best-selling products in 2011/2012 were dark chocolate Mints, pencils, followed by House of Commons branded Whisky, diaries, wines, champagne, claret and port.

However, in 2012/2013, the best-selling products changed so the top items were mint creams and immediately afterwards House of Commons branded boxed whisky, Merlot and Sauvignon wines, luxury chocolate, Champagne, diaries, Whisky and finally Claret.

At the same time, the House of Commons’ range of restaurants has reported a decrease in sales, making only £695,9000 over the 2011/2012 financial year. By contrast, in 2010/2011, sales were at £768,800.

Meanwhile, sales have soared over the last few years at the House of Commons’ Strangers Bar, an exclusive bar for MPs which was rocked last year by a brawl involving Falkirk MP Eric Joyce. The bar made £215,500 in sales over the financial year 2011/2012, a notable increase from its 2010/2011 level of £206,100 and even more than its 2009/2010 nadir of £160.900.

This information came out after a series of Freedom of Information Requests to the House of Commons by LondonlovesBusiness.com.


Sales from 21 April 2011 - 22 March 2012:

  1. Dark Chocolate Mint 200
  2. Dark Chocolate Mint 400
  3. Pencil with Eraser
  4. House of Commons Whisky Boxed
  5. Diary
  6. House of Commons Merlot
  7. House of Commons Sauvignon
  8. House of Commons Champagne
  9. House of Commons Claret
  10. House of Commons Reserve Port


Sales from 23 March 2012 - 17 Jan 2013:

  1. Mint Cream 200g
  2. Mint Creams 400g
  3. House of Commons Whisky Boxed
  4. House of Commons Merlot
  5. House of Commons Sauvignon
  6. Luxury Chocolate
  7. House of Commons Champagne
  8. Diary
  9. Whisky Blend Miniature
  10. House of Commons Claret

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