Inflation means last call for raft of UK pubs: study

Inflation means last call for raft of UK pubs: study

A total of 153 pubs shut in the first quarter compared with 104 during the first three months of 2022, according to Altus Group
A total of 153 pubs shut in the first quarter compared with 104 during the first three months of 2022, according to Altus Group. Photo: Daniel LEAL / AFP/File
Source: AFP

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The number of pub closures in England and Wales surged 47 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier as inflation soared, a study showed Tuesday.

The huge increase came as energy bills rocketed and customers struggled with big price increases for pints of beer, other beverages and food.

Britain's government also ended huge Covid financial support schemes last year, hitting businesses hard at a time when their own costs began rocketing.

More recently, the government reduced its help for energy bills, making pubs "even more attractive for alternative investment", according to Alex Probyn, president of property tax at Altus Group, whose survey was based on government data.

Many pubs that close in Britain are turned into houses or apartments.

A total of 153 pubs shut in the first quarter compared with 104 during the first three months of 2022, according to Altus.

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UK annual inflation is stuck in double digits, accelerating to 10.4 percent in February.

A joint study Tuesday from the British Retail Consortium and accountants KPMG showed consumers cutting back on purchases of food and drink.

It also showed businesses offsetting this with price hikes.

"UK food and drink sales in March followed a similar pattern as previous months, with volume sales continuing to be negative and value sales positive," said Susan Barratt, chief executive at retail analysts IGD.

"As such, inflation continues to loom heavily over shoppers."

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Source: AFP

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