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Luminar boss Peter Marks admits to 'aggressive' pricing at certain venues

By Michelle Perrett , 18-Jul-2012
Last updated on 18-Jul-2012 at 10:14 GMT2012-07-18T10:14:05Z

Luminar boss Peter Marks admits to 'aggressive' pricing at certain venues

Luminar boss Peter Marks has admitted that the 58-strong nightclub chain has had to be aggressive on pricing at certain venues midweek to compete with the cut-price alcohol sold in supermarkets.

Marks, who worked undercover shadowing Luminar employees in Channel 4 series Undercover Boss last week, said he was “delighted” that his venues had a responsible attitude towards young people who drink excessively.

However, in an exclusive interview with the Publican’s Morning Advertiser, he admitted: “We hardly ever get thanks or recognition for it.

“We deal with a lot of what I call trainee drinkers — the 18 and 19-year-olds — who don’t know what their limit is and don’t act responsibly.”

Marks, who cleaned toilets, marketed Swansea Oceana on the streets and had a go at DJing during the show, said:

“We had to be aggressive on price in certain places because, frankly, mid-week it is price sensitive whether its students or locals. No one wants to do it and we are forced to because that is where the marketplace is. We are all fighting the supermarkets here, and they are the real issue as a shot of vodka in a supermarket costs 40p.”

He said that Oceana Swansea had been trading better than three months ago when it was “losing us a fortune”.
“The problem is we are off pitch in Swansea, so have to be more aggressive,” he said.

“It is unfortunate. Do you think I enjoyed standing on the streets of Swansea saying ‘80p a drink’? We won’t carry on 80p drinks forever — what you do is build volume up and tweak the prices.”

He said that there were “real lessons” learnt from his stint undercover, such as how committed many of the staff are in the venues.

He plans a range of new initiatives, such as using medics in certain venues, after seeing how the idea has worked well at Oceana in Kingston, Surrey, regular staff meetings with managers, keeping checks on the cleaners to ensure they have the right equipment and getting managers to work more closely with their staff.

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