Thousands more pubs set to close, warns PwC

More than 4,000 UK pubs will go bust in the next two years as the economic
downturn and competition from supermarkets continues to bite, insolvency
specialists at PricewaterhouseCoopers have warned.

Sixty-four pub businesses closed in the third quarter – more than double the
number in the same period last year and around triple the number in 2006, PwC
figures show.

Small community pubs are particularly vulnerable in the harsh trading

‘The majority of pubs suffering distress are community pubs [offering less
food than bigger rivals] losing out to supermarkets,’ said Stephen Broom,
hospitality and leisure director at PwC. ‘Some have also found the competition
from well known pub chains has had a detrimental effect as brand and familiarity
become more important to consumers when personal expenditure is under pressure.’

Hotels insolvencies – which have shot up by more than150% from the end of
2006 to October 2008 – could also increase in 2009, although better computer
systems and online booking facilities should help the sector weather a recession
better than it did in the early 1990s, PwC also said.

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