383 fewer pubs in 6 months: number of pubs in England continues to fall significantly

DThe number of pubs in England and Wales has again fallen significantly due to high prices. In the second quarter, 230 bars closed their doors permanently—about 50 percent more than at the start of the year. That’s according to government data compiled by property consultant Altus Group and released on Monday.

In total, 383 pubs were demolished or converted into apartments, offices and kindergartens in the first half of the year. That was about two each day and about the same as all of 2022, when 386 restaurants closed. There were still 39,404 pubs operating in England and Wales at the end of June.

Altus expert Alex Probyn called on Treasury Secretary Jeremy Hunt to soften the property tax hike planned for April. Restaurants have been hit by high energy costs, low economic growth and high interest rates. “An average increase in property tax of £12,385 next year is the last thing pubs need,” Probyn said.

Experts blame rising energy, labor and wholesale prices, as well as declining consumer disposable income, for the industry’s woes. Many passengers were also stranded due to rail strikes.

Large chains such as market leader Wetherspoons, which recently closed dozens of pubs, have been hit as hard as smaller pubs. There has been an increase in the number of independent craft beer suppliers or theme pubs, according to the analysis.

Source: Frantfurter Allgemeine

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