• Home
  • News
  • Entertainment
  • LAD Originals

To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Not now
OK
Advert
Advert
Advert

Wetherspoon under threat as owner admits people have realised where to get cheaper booze

Claire Reid

Published 
| Last updated 

Wetherspoon under threat as owner admits people have realised where to get cheaper booze

JD Wetherspoon boss Tim Martin has said the pub chain could be under threat as people have realised there are cheaper ways to drink. 

Martin said his company, which has almost 900 pubs across the UK, had a ‘momentous challenge’ on its hands to tempt customers back after lockdown.

He also said Wetherspoon hasn’t made a profit since the pandemic, with sales unable to reach the same level as they did in pre-pandemic 2019. 

The Wetherspoon boss believes that now punters have seen the cheaper prices on offer in supermarkets, they may not fancy going back to pubs - even one that offers Curry Club. 

Advert
Wetherspoon boss Tim Martin has said his company faces a 'momentous challenge'. Credit: Russell Hart / Alamy Stock Photo
Wetherspoon boss Tim Martin has said his company faces a 'momentous challenge'. Credit: Russell Hart / Alamy Stock Photo

Martin said: “During lockdown, dyed-in-the-wool pub-goers, many for the first time, filled their fridges with supermarket beer – and it has proved to be a momentous challenge to persuade them to return to the more salubrious environment of the saloon bar.”

Martin said numerous issues had come together at once causing a nightmare for the hospitality industry. 

“To coin a Shakespeare phrase, ‘the multiplying villainies of nature do swarm upon’ the hospitality industry,” he said. “Following the lockdowns and restrictions of the pandemic - and surprisingly perhaps, the aftermath has been just as difficult for many companies. 

Advert

“Most commentators, including most publicans, understandably predicted a post-lockdown boom, in which the public would react to enforced cabin fever by embarking on a celebratory spree, but the reality has, in contrast, been a painstakingly slow recovery in sales, for some but not all, accompanied by great inflation in costs.”

Wetherspoon total sales rose from £773 million to more than £1.7 billion in the year to the end of July - but this is still lower than 2019’s £1.8 billion. 

Credit: Simon Dack / Alamy Stock Photo
Credit: Simon Dack / Alamy Stock Photo

Martin said Wetherspoon has 'improved its prospects in a number of ways in recent financial years' and noted that 'underlying sales are improving' - but, like most of us, he is also accurately aware of the rising costs. 

Advert

He went on: “However, as a result of the previously reported increases in labour and repair costs and the potentially adverse effects of rises in interest rates and energy costs on the economy, firm predictions are hard to make.”

Martin’s comments come just weeks after the company put 32 of its boozers up for sale. 

Eddie Gershonor, a spokesperson for Wetherspoon, told LADbible: "On occasion, Wetherspoon does put some of its pubs up for sale.

"This is a commercial decision. We understand that customers and staff will be disappointed with it. The pubs will continue to operate as Wetherspoon outlets until they are sold."

Featured Image Credit: Dusan Petkovic / Alamy Stock Photo Bax Walker / Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: UK News, Food And Drink

Claire Reid
More like this
Advert
Advert
Advert

Chosen for YouChosen for You

Entertainment

James May already warned Grand Tour was 'near the end' this year as all three stars 'leave show'

8 hours ago

Most Read StoriesMost Read

Benidorm icon Sticky Vicky has died aged 80

18 hours ago