Pub trading drops by 3% in 2008

17 November 2008 by
Pub trading drops by 3% in 2008

Nearly 1,700 pubs will have closed during 2008, representing a 3% reduction in the year, research has revealed.

The UK Public Houses study, by research firm Market & Business Development (MBD), says there will be 55,515 pubs trading at the end of the 2008, a 1,665 drop on last year. The decrease follows a 2% fall in 2007 and a 1% drop in 2006.

The report attributes the declining trend in the number of pubs to a range of factors.

"One such factor is the trend towards drinking alcohol at home, as supermarkets sell alcohol at significantly lower prices than pubic houses," it says.

"The decline also reflects the introduction of the smoking ban in 2007, weakening consumer confidence due to the current credit crunch and also the rising costs for public houses, such as the increasing cost of labour."

Looking ahead, MBD believes the number of pubs will continue to decline in the short-term, falling by 3% in 2009 and by a further 1% in 2010.

But, between 2011 and 2013, the number of pubs is anticipated to increase by a cumulative 3% to 55,120 in the latter year. Nevertheless, this still represents a decline of 1% compared with 2008.

MBD also expects beer sales in pubs to drop by 4% over the next five years, reflecting an increased focus on health by consumers; further tax hikes on alcohol; increasing popularity of wine and cider; and supermarket pricing.

Pubs close at a rate of five a day, says research>>

Pubs must battle back as sales fall and costs rise>>

Food sales haven't compensated for the smoking ban>>

Government urged to stem rate of pub closures>>

By Daniel Thomas

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