UK PUB CLOSURES CONTINUE AT TWO-DOZEN PER WEEK

In Global perspective by Clyde Mooney

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New figures out of the UK show the steady decline in the number of pubs in Britain, with thousands closing since 2013.

The UK Market Growth Monitor by CGA and AlixPartners reports that across Britain the number of pubs and bars has fallen 11.3 per cent in the past five years, amounting to an average of 24 per week.

More than 6,000 pubs have shut the doors since 2013, as at September this year.

The report shows that drinks-oriented (“wet-led”) pubs have been the hardest hit, dropping by 17.3 per cent, while those driven by food-service (“food-led”) have fared better.

It also found the total number of licensed premises in Britain,which includes clubs and restaurants, has fallen 3.2 per cent year-on-year, now totalling 118,905 locations.

The Monitor found the bulk of pub and bar closures to be the independently-owned businesses, with the economies of scale accumulated by groups greatly assisting profitability, particularly in areas outside the capital cities. This trend is expected to continue.

The UK boasts several pub groups with hundreds and even thousands of venues in their portfolios, typically offering a more homogenous environment that has evolved courtesy of the traditionally high levels of patronage.

The total number of pubs still sees the British fleet out number Australia by more than three to one, per head of population.