JDW closes 46 Scottish pubs until restrictions ease

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Pub portfolio: the 46 pubs make up 75% of JD Wetherspoon's Scottish estate
Pub portfolio: the 46 pubs make up 75% of JD Wetherspoon's Scottish estate

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Pub behemoth JD Wetherspoon has shut three quarters (75%) of its pubs in Scotland and these will remain closed until measures are relaxed.

A reopening date for these sites has not yet been revealed.

JDW spokesman Eddie Gershon said: “We can confirm 46 of our 61 pubs in Scotland will close from 6pm on Saturday (14 November) and reopen when restrictions are eased and our pubs can trade more normally.

“We look forward to reopening our pubs in due course.”

Cash burn

This comes after the group estimated the ‘cash burn’ of the month-long enforced closure of its pubs under national lockdown will be approximately £14m​.

In a trading update for the 15 weeks to 8 November 2020, the pub giant also revealed its like-for-like sales dropped by more than a quarter (27.6%).

It stated sales in October were significantly lower than previous months following the requirements of new restrictions.

The trading update also revealed JDW undertook a share placing in April 2020, which raised £137.7m and £48.3m was raised through a Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme in August 2020.

Trading results

JDW had £234m of liquidity on 25 October 2020, which it stated is significantly higher and current liabilities are lower than before the March lockdown.

This followed JDW boss Tim Martin telling The Morning Advertiser ​the business ws currently not considering making more redundancies, but wouldn't rule out more cuts if trade continues to drop.

At a press conference to reveal the firm’s preliminary results for the 52 weeks ending 26 July 2020​​ at Hamilton Hall in London’s Liverpool Street station (Friday 16 October) – two weeks before the second national lockdown –  Martin said train station pubs were trading down.

When asked if this band of sites would be the next area the company would consider job cuts (following the announcement of airport pub job losses​​ and head office roles cut​​), Martin said: “Nothing is sacred, but we haven't yet considered redundancies in those locations (station pubs) but I suppose the truth is we might have to if trade remains very poor. We are hoping to avoid it. [But we have] no strategy.

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