Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Hamish Champ: Will Bish's bash help solve the industry's woes?

Excellently balanced piece Hamish. Refreshing to see the discussion moving on.

Nick Bish has taken a commendably strong lead in bringing together so many people who wouldn't want to bump into each other in a dark alley. Where the meeting will go will be interesting but no one should get their hopes up soon. It's a tall order expecting this trade to unite and become effectively self regulating - my view is that a Competition Commission given good quality information from all sides is a much simpler route to change. The meeting is likely to be looking at how to manage so many factions with strikingly different interests in a way which enables them to work together towards reaching a YES that suits everyone.

Talk of the tie being a good model has always surprised me - I can't see any place for it in a 'free market' unless it revolves around voluntary and mutual benefit between two parties but then I came into the tied industry sceptical having been in the free side running bars and restaurants for other people. I got into a tie situation because there were no freeholds of free of tie leases where I wanted to set up business. Well before all the 'low cost entry for entrepreneurs' nonesense was being bandied around and leases were marketed as coming free in 1998.

I really can't see there's any major issue about brewers hiking prices - it seems clear that the tie has squeezed everyone and without the middleman taking ALL the bacon there's more than enough profit for everyone. As for rents - if banks or property companies were in charge of the bricks and mortar you can almost guarantee that the quality of the national estate would improve over time because better housekeeping would fall into place naturally - if there's more profit around it will be invested in the fabric - tied lessees WANT to invest in their businesses but cannot because they do not make enough to put much back in.

No comments:

Post a Comment