Revolution Bars to shut eight sites as cost of living hits young customers

05 January 2024 by
Revolution Bars to shut eight sites as cost of living hits young customers

Revolution Bars Group is to shut eight sites across England after blaming the cost of living crisis for hitting the spending power of its younger customers.

Chief executive Rob Pitcher said the upcoming rise in the National Living Wage in April from £10.42 an hour to £11.44 had also pushed the business to shutter the "unprofitable" bars.

The company said it would close Revolution bars in Beaconsfield, Derby, Reading, St Peters Liverpool, and Wilmslow, with staff set to be offered alternative roles within the business.

Revolución de Cuba sites in Sheffield and Southampton and the Playhouse gaming bar in Newcastle-Under-Lyme will also close.

After the closures, the group will continue to operate 58 bars and 22 pubs, which include the Peach Pubs portfolio it acquired for £16.5m in 2022.

Negotiations for five of the eight bars had already begun for them to be transferred to other operators or their leases rescinded.

The announcement comes after Revolution reported its best festive trading period since 2019, with group like-for-like sales in December up 9%.

However, it said half-year sales showed an improving trend but were still 2.8% down across the six months to the end of December.

Pitcher said: "We have had the best festive trading period for four years with all of our brands recording positive like for like sales and Revolución de Cuba being the standout performer.

"However, our younger customers are still feeling the disproportionate effect of the cost-of-living crisis and the national living wage will increase materially in April 2024.

"Therefore, we have taken the difficult yet ultimately beneficial step for the group to close several bars which are unprofitable."

He added: "Our teams do a terrific job in making guests welcome and giving them a great experience and again we have demonstrated that when our customer base can afford to do so, they are choosing to celebrate with us, and we have delivered record levels of guest satisfaction.

"This should bode well for the future."

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