Supermarkets – the 'final nail in the coffin' for pubs

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

Fears expressed: many in the trade and pub customers see the threat of supermarkets
Fears expressed: many in the trade and pub customers see the threat of supermarkets

Related tags: Alcoholic beverage

Licensees and consumers have claimed news that supermarkets are selling both discounted alcohol and beer on tap could spell the end for the pub sector.

Earlier this week, The Morning Advertiser​ revealed that supermarkets were selling beer and cider for as little as 75p​ a pint prompting calls for equality in VAT rates. It also revealed that Morrisons in Guiseley, West Yorkshire, has opened a bar serving draught beer​.

The response on Facebook saw outrage from many in the industry.

‪Claire Carpenter, bar manager at the Seven Sisters pub in Eastbourne, East Sussex, said: “Another nail in the coffin for us struggling pubs.”

She also added: “One day when all the proper pubs are gone and people are left with soulless Wetherspoons, they’ll wonder how it all got to that.”

Meanwhile, Paul Crisp, licensee at the Rampant Horse, Freethorpe, Norfolk, raised concern about the state of the pub industry.

'Never known it so bad'

“I've been in the trade for 35 years and I've never known it so bad,” he said.

‪Malcolm Shipp, who runs the Vaults micropub in Devizes, Wiltshire, said:‪ “Supermarkets surround my little pub and it doesn’t make a jot of difference to us as we have the atmosphere and experienced bar staff who look after people.

"We are careful not to sell too many beers that clash with the supermarket but we still sell tons of Duvel and Chimay.”

Roly Keech, landlord of the Castle in Bedford, added: “The Government continues to cane the pubs.”

Consumers were also keen to comment on this issue. Philip Brown, a bus driver, called for alcohol sales in supermarkets to be restricted in some way because he claims it is killing the licensed trade.

“These 64 cans for a tenner deal entice people not to go out to pubs. I’ve heard colleagues saying 'why go to a pub and spend £20 on a round of five pints when I can get 50 pints for £15 at Tesco?” he said.

'Final nails'

‪Pub customer Ed Davies‪ argued there had been a lot of 'final nails in the coffin' for pubs over the past decade.

‪”Truth is, the world turns, things change, and as with everything else you either evolve or die. There are thousands of pubs doing well – just look at the number of award ceremony entrants there are each year,” he said.

Another customer, Robert Sapsford‪, said he was surprised there was any room to knock any more nails in. “The coffin must be looking like a hobnail boot,” he said.

While, drinker Gareth Wheatley‪ raised concern that prices were too high to allow people to drink outside the home.

“Pubcos are destroying the industry with their high-priced beer and high rents that they charge to their own tenants and licensees,” he said.

‪Meanwhile, pub user Alan Howarth‪ raised the issue of experience. He said: “To be fair, who in their right mind would want to go down Morrisons for a pint?”

Related topics: Beer

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