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Wed 13th Oct 2021 - Industry loses almost 1,000 more sites since July but managed sector proves robust
Industry loses almost 1,000 more sites since July but managed sector proves robust: Britain’s number of licensed premises fell by almost 1,000 between July and September, the new Market Recovery Monitor from CGA and AlixPartners reveals. Small businesses bore the brunt of the 980 closures, with independently run pubs, restaurants and bars accounting for almost three quarters of them, reducing the sector in size by 1%. In contrast, the managed sector proved robust over the summer, achieving growth in site numbers of 0.1%. The report also revealed, despite being able to trade from July, Britain’s number of nightclubs dipped by almost 100 to just over 1,000 by September – a drop of 9.0% over two months. The closures between July and September mean there are, overall, 9,900 fewer licensed premises than there were before the pandemic hit, and the report warns of more business failures before the end of 2021 if significant trading challenges such as labour shortages, supply chain disruption and rising costs are not addressed. Karl Chessell, CGA’s business unit director for hospitality operators and food, EMEA, said: “Restrictions on socialising and trading may have eased, but their impacts continue to be felt by restaurants, pubs and bars whose reserves have been eaten up by months of closure. Factor in a crisis in recruitment, rising costs in many key areas and widespread supply issues, and it’s clear thousands of firms and jobs remain vulnerable. Targeted government support on these major challenges, starting with more VAT relief, is needed to help to prevent hospitality’s recovery from stalling.” AlixPartners managing director Graeme Smith added: “The impact on nightclubs, which were unable to trade at all during the pandemic, has been particularly acute, with almost one in ten sites closing in the past two months. Demand remains strong, but with staff shortages, utility cost inflation and supply-chain disruption, there are renewed efforts to secure continued government support to the industry to help it weather this storm as the reopening process continues through what may be a challenging winter.”

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