Tuesday, December 01, 2009

While the likes of Giles Thorley and Ted Tuppen blame their tenants for their companies' depressed performance, value and share price, Wetherspoons' continuing success highlights the failure of the pubco model in draining all profit out of the majority of pubs, with their subsequent failure making many 'non viable sites' available to be snapped up cheaply.

Of the failed pubs that escape resurrection of the Wetherspoons' touch there are thousands that would have been viable had the pernicious clutches of the tie not brought them down. Thus 'proven non viable' under a pubco regime they either have covenants placed upon them to prevent future life as a pub, or will not be touched with a bargepole by potential newcomers to the trade because too much investment is needed in their outdated and broken amenities to get them up to scratch.

One such 'non viable' pub local to me is about to become a place of worship, even though five years ago it was doing 500 barrels a year as a community boozer. It was a tied pub, in a not easy location, but no doubt if it had been tie free it would still be trading as an important community resource and meeting place. Instead its closure and subsequent marketing at ludicrously unrealistic freehold prices has temporarily blighted the immediate area and now its likely future as a 'church' has the potential to create even more isolation of it

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