Pub closure report causes 'unnecessary alarm' says JD Wetherspoon founder

07 August 2023 by
Pub closure report causes 'unnecessary alarm' says JD Wetherspoon founder

Reports of pub closures have created "unnecessary alarm", according to JD Wetherspoon founder Tim Martin, who added that the pub giant had set new sales records this year.

Martin made his comments in response to an article published by the Daily Mail on 1 August headlined: "Wetherspoons closes more pubs with dozens of boozers across Britain earmarked for closure…".

Martin said that of the 28 pubs Wetherspoon had closed this year, 15 have been sold to other pub companies and have reopened already or are to reopen soon.

Her added that the remaining 15 pubs had been leasehold properties and the leases had either expired or the sites had been taken back by the landlord for redevelopment. Martin gave the example of Doncaster Airport, which has closed, and a site in Orpington due to be redeveloped.

Martin added: " Pub disposals are a sensitive issue. Hyperbole and exaggeration from the Daily Mail have created unnecessary alarm .

"Wetherspoon's annualised sales are now approximately £2b, the highest ever level, and are over £100m per annum more than in the year before the pandemic.

"Profits, as we said in our recent trading statement, are increasing and employment is also at a record level."

In a financial update earlier this month JD Wetherspoon reported it had opened three pubs this financial year, and closed 28. It added that it would be a 'misinterpretation' to describe the closures as a 'money raising exercise' adding that in most cases their was another Wetherspoon pub in close proximity.

The pub chain which operates more than 820 pubs, had a further 22 sites either on the market or under offer.

In the same update it reported a 7.4% increase in year-to-date sales.

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