|A rough Wetherspoon's pub in a
poor, run-down neighbourhood
Back in July, I reported that Wetherspoons were planning to sell twenty of their pubs. Most of them gave the impression of either being in unsuitable locations, or close to other, busier branches, so as a whole it looked like a sensible bit of rationalisation. However, they’ve now come back with a further thirty-four planned disposals. Some of these fit into the same category, but others are apparently successful operations with no other Spoons nearby.
Locally, they include two current Good Beer Guide entries, the Milson Rhodes in Didsbury and the Bollin Fee in Wilmslow, neither of which is close to another one, and both in prosperous, busy locations. Yes, the Milson Rhodes is within a mile of the Gateway, but I don’t think by and large they compete for the same trade. On the other hand, some of them such as the Red Lion in Heanor have a poor reputation and don’t seem to have worked out. They also include the premises at 43-51 King Street, Stirling, where they fought a long licensing battle against the objections of Greene King, but have not so far got round to actually opening as a pub.
Is this a sign that the company is now struggling financially and needing to sell off some more of the family silver? Or are they cashing in some of their more valuable freeholds at the top of the market?