Friday, 16 July 2010

The elephant in the lounge bar

Some salutary words for the pub trade here from Chris Snowdon, in response to this article from Adam Fowle of M&B pleading for special favours from the government – the call of lame duck industries down the years. It’s funny how nobody seemed that bothered about supermarket drink prices before 1 July 2007, isn’t it? Chris concludes:
Consumers aren't stupid. They've always known that they can get their alcohol much more cheaply from the off-trade. They pay (or paid) a premium to go to the pub because pubs sell atmosphere, comfort, entertainment and relaxation. Above all, they sell an environment. That environment changed dramatically in July 2007. For some people, it was a change for the better, but every economic indicator suggests that for pubs' core customer base, it was a change for the worse. People will not pay a premium to stand out on the street. Whether that premium is £2 or 2p makes little difference when there is a comfy sofa and a roaring fire back at home.

So, yes, it's not pretty when business colludes with government, but it's understandable when business feels it can maximise its profits. But when years of collusion have led to nothing but the decimation of your industry, isn't it time to grow a pair?
The anti-drink lobby must be chortling into their sarsaparilla at the sight of sections of the drinks trade at each others’ throats.


  1. It's not like they haven't a similarly 'unhealthy' precedent to draw from in forming their defence, now is it?

    Pub companies (and owners) have their heads buried so deep they must surely be boat-spotting in Sydney harbour.


  2. The main problem with the pub trade's smug attitude to its
    there are still thousands of total
    idiots still prepared to give them custom.
    The righteous few and their fellow
    back stabbers are quite prepared to see the demise of the normal pub, as long as they have a cosy
    half empty,overpriced tavern to
    assemble in.
    Those happy bands require a bit of erstwhile attention to ensure they also endure the discomfort they
    wish on others.

    Shaken not stirred.


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