Marston’s announced today that they were launching a £176 million rights issue to fund the construction of new-build pubs. “The roll out of new build pubs can generate higher returns at lower risk than acquiring mixed packages of existing pubs,” said chief executive Ralph Findlay. The recently opened Fallow Deer by the A6 in Chapel-en-le-Frith is a good example of this policy. On the radio this morning, a spokesman said they would be targeting the “F-factor” – food, families, females and fortysomethings. Well, that may be a clear sign of how pub trade is going, but for a lot of traditional pub customers it will spell the “f-off home factor”.
It’s hard to imagine nowadays that, back in the 1980s, Wolverhampton & Dudley (who are the real predecessors of the current Marston’s company), were proud to use the slogan “Unspoilt by Progress”.