7.7% of town centre pubs closed this year

By Ewan Turney

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Town centre pubs Peter mandelson

Closed: pubs and bars have been hit
Closed: pubs and bars have been hit
A total of 7.7% of town centre pubs and bars closed from January to September this year, according to a new survey.

A total of 7.7% of town centre pubs and bars closed from January to September this year.

A survey by Local Data Company tracked retail closures in 705 town and city centres and found that around 10% of all retailers closed — 25,090. In London alone, 7,628 firms shut their doors in the first nine months of the year.

Nearly 12% of off-licences closed, while 9.5% of restaurants, cafes and fast food outlets closed. Just over 8% of Leisure sector outlets closed, which was less than service based industries such as banks (9%) and the comparison and convenience sector (11.3%).

The single hardest-hit retail outlets were department stores with 21.6% closing. Clothes stores were next highest with a closure rate of 17.9%.

Despite the downturn and increased number of properties vacant, Land Securities chief executive Francis Salway said wide-spread concessions to retailers were not appropriate.

"The downturn has been tough for property companies and retailers," he said. "There are instances of retailers still asking for concessions, and it can be in our interests to show flexibility in specific areas — and we have led on a number of such initiatives.

"However, we do not believe across the board changes to agreed contracts are appropriate."

The British Property Federation is using the closure statistics to further its calls for an extension of empty property rate relief to help landlords.

Full business rates are applied to commercial property, including pubs, left vacant for more than three months, which takes on extra significance with the rates revaluation due to come into effect from April 2010.

"Business secretary Lord Mandelson said the government's empty property tax was 'good for business' but if charging a hardship tax on firms' vacancies is the government's idea of helping business then I'd hate to see him helping an old lady across the road," said Liz Peace, chief executive of the British Property Federation.

She added: "Although the comparatively good performance of entertainment venues suggests Britons are still a fun-loving bunch, the high closure rate of department and fashion stores suggests that a more fundamental re-structuring of these sectors is on the cards, along with others that have an unsustainable level of competition."

Related topics Property law

Property of the week


£ 60,000 - Leasehold

Busy location on coastal main road Extensively renovated detached public house Five trade areas (100)  Sizeable refurbished 4-5 bedroom accommodation Newly created beer garden (125) Established and popular business...

Follow us

Pub Trade Guides

View more