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Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Buried heads cannot speak for pubs

MIDDLETON brewer JW Lees has blamed another poor summer and the continuing impact of the smoking ban introduced in 2007 for a 34 per cent drop in profits in the year to March 31, 2009.

Once you get past the corporate appeasement policy of the UK pub industry, the crippling effects of the smoking ban are all too clear.

“Draught beer sales dropped by 10 per cent for the third year on a row in November,” [Managing director William Lees-Jones] said.

“However, one thing we’ve been able to do as a private business is to help our tenants much earlier when others were still burying their heads in the sand.”

Although he could be talking about many a pubco, Punch Taverns instantly spring to mind.

Yet still the beer industry spokespeople fail to address the issue of freedom of choice. The BBPA are still not interested, and as for CAMRA, well what can one say that hasn't been said before?

It's worth noting that in countries where bars are still, in the main, owned by people, and not huge organisations who trade more on property and rent income than beer sales, resistance to smoking bans is vehement.

The smoking ban kills ... pubs. It really is as simple as that.

1 comment:

TheBigYin said...

I do believe that the big "pubco's" pushed for a full out smoking ban in this country believing that it would "level the playing field" for everyone? Everyone but the smoker did they mean? Who benefited by a 'level playing field?'

One thing is for sure, we know who, amongst the sellers of alcohol, who didn't benefit, the pubs, as we can now see by 52+ pubs closing every week. Was this a strategy by the pubcos? Kill of the freehouse then buy them up for a snip? If this is so then it has backfired on them, their profits are well down barring one or two that sell food at vastly discounted prices.

The pubcos have definitely cut of their nose to spite their smug anti-smoking faces.

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