Tuesday, July 12, 2011

CAMRA’s critics should aim at the real enemies

People have abandoned pubs in droves because so many of them are deeply unattractive places. It's not surprising really - the majority of the national pub estate has not been substantially invested in for over four decades - neither in bricks and mortar nor in training and development of the entire management and workforce.

These neglected pubs simply do not provide what contemporary consumers want and expect - they haven't moved with the times and are not relevant any more - all they offer is a limited range of (often) badly looked after beer that is far too expensive relevant to the amenity the pubs provide.

The blame for this parlous reality lies squarely at the hands of the people who have controlled the majority of the national pub estate for the last two decades; the tied pubcos who have massively over rented their properties and supplied their beer at up to double open market value. This has dynamically impacted on reinvestment in the whole industry from top to bottom and, above all else, is the quietly pernicious underlying cause of the collapse of the pub sector.

Pubcos - collectively - are the real enemies of the pub industry. Their collective unsustainable business practices are just unbridled private equity asset stripping and they blame everything and everyone else for fundamental problems which are of their own making.

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