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Thu 1st Sep 2022 - Update: Patisserie Valerie to close nine sites, Fulham Shore energy bill, Truss plans business rates cut
Patisserie Valerie to close nine sites: Patisserie Valerie, which is backed by Irish private equity firm Causeway Capital, is to close nine sites that the company feels will “not recover sufficiently” following the pandemic, Propel has learned. The company, which operates 95 sites in total, with the majority under the Bakers + Baristas brand, said: “Patisserie Valerie, like many other operators in the hospitality sector, has faced a period of unprecedented challenges in recent times. Despite these, Patisserie Valerie continues to grow, particularly via its direct to consumer online nationwide cake delivery service and national wholesale partnership with J Sainsbury. Many of our patisseries have now recovered well, thanks to the hard work of our teams and the loyal support of our customers. However, following the pandemic, we decided to complete a review of our patisserie estate to identify those locations which have not recovered as well as we expected. As a result, we have decided to close nine patisseries (Belfast Donegal Square, Belfast Castle Lane, Belfast Forestside, Victoria Station, Windsor, Dundee, Glasgow Central, Eastbourne and Exeter) as we now do not feel they will recover sufficiently.” After the closures, the group’s VP Retail Limited subsidiary will cease to trade. Patisserie Valerie is being advised on this matter by chartered accountants, James Cowper Kreston and the closures will not affect any of the rest of the group’s business which will continue as usual. James Fleming, chief executive, said: “Whilst closing stores is never an easy decision to take, we are confident this is the right thing to do to ensure the group is in a stronger position to continue investing and delivering the high-quality experience our customers rightly expect in these challenging times.” In 2020, Causeway merged Patisserie Valerie and Bakers + Baristas to create a “high-quality patisserie and coffee group” with more than 125 locations in the UK and Ireland.

One day to go before next edition of The New Openings Database release, to show details on 315 new sites, 14,300-word report included: The next edition of The New Openings Database, which is produced in association with StarStock, will show the details of 315 newly announced site openings and upcoming launches for Premium subscribers when it is published tomorrow (Friday, 2 September), at midday. The database shows the details of which company has opened a site or its plans to open one in the future. It will have details on what type of site it is and its location. There will also be a website link to the businesses so you can find out more about them. It is published on a monthly basis. The next edition of the database features expanding hotel and restaurant operators, niche cuisine and international brands making their UK debut. Premium subscribers will also receive a 14,300-word report on the new additions to the database. Premium subscribers also receive access to three other databases. The latest Propel Multi-Site Database, which is produced in association with Virgate, was sent to Premium subscribers last Friday (26 August). The database contained 47 new companies, bringing the total number of businesses listed up to 2,617. The 293 sites run by those 47 new additions means the entire database of sites has reached 66,609 sites. Premium subscribers also received a 3,200-word report on the new businesses added. The go-to database provides company names, the people in charge, how many sites each firm operates, its trading name and its registered name at Companies House if different. There is also a synopsis of what the business does and significant news associated with it. Premium subscribers also receive the Turnover & Profits Blue Book, which is produced in association with Mapal Group, and the UK Food and Beverage Franchisor Database, which is an exhaustive guide to the companies offering a food and beverage franchise in the UK and will be updated every two months. Companies can now have an unlimited number of people receive access to Propel Premium for a year for £895 plus VAT – whether they are an operator or a supplier. The single subscription rate is £445 plus VAT for operators and £545 plus VAT for suppliers. Email jo.charity@propelinfo.com to upgrade your subscription. Premium subscribers also receive their morning newsletter 11 hours early, at 7pm the evening before our 6am send-out; regular video content and regular exclusive columns from Propel group editor Mark Wingett.

Truss plans to slash business rates to beat the energy crisis: Business rates will be slashed to protect swathes of corporate Britain from surging energy prices under plans drawn up by Liz Truss, the Conservative leadership frontrunner. The Telegraph reports that it is thought the government could extend business rates relief from premises with a rateable value of £15,000 to those valued at £25,000, meaning many thousands more companies would be spared from the tax. Ms Truss’ team has been discussing the proposals with industry lobbyists as she prepares to become prime minister next week if she wins the support of Tory members. Nadhim Zahawi, the chancellor, has also met with representatives from industry groups this month. A source said Ms Truss’ team was receptive to the idea of expanding business rates relief, amid hopes that the policy could feed into the government’s Levelling Up agenda, and had been consulting business groups. Rateable values are linked to property prices, meaning more companies would be eligible for support in the North and Midlands than around London. Craig Beaumont, of the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “We are increasingly confident that business rates are on Liz Truss’ radar. We like that she’s talked about small businesses and self-employed individuals, and the decisions on National Insurance Contributions.”

Page – Fulham Shore energy bill would rise by between 50%-100% when lock-in deals expire: David Page, chairman of Fulham Shore, the Franco Manca and The Real Greek operator, has estimated that the group’s energy bill would rise by between 50% and 100% when lock-in deals expire. He told The Times the company was performing “as well as expected in what is a very difficult situation” and called on the government to restore the cut in VAT for a year to provide “a nice shot in the arm for the industry”. Yesterday, the company said despite the turmoil in the UK economy and the recent sporadic train and tube disruption, its trading is “resilient and running in line with management expectations”. The company said all of its new restaurant openings are being “well received and are also performing in line with expectations”.

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