Traditional pubs on decline as supermarket alcohol sales rise

By Gwen Ridler contact

- Last updated on GMT

Traditional pubs are on the decline, while super market alcohol sales rise
Traditional pubs are on the decline, while super market alcohol sales rise

Related tags: Alcoholic beverage

The traditional British pub as we know it is on the decline and is now being superseded by new types of venues in unconventional spaces, according to findings from a Campaign For Real Ale (CAMRA) report.

At the same time, alcoholic drinks saw a spike in supermarket sales by 8.5% for the 12 weeks leading to September 11.

According to Roger Protz, editor of the CAMRA published Good Beer Guide, traditional pubs are closing at a rate of 21 a week, while new types of pubs are opening at a fast rate.

“It’s tragic that pubs that have been the heart of their communities for decades and even centuries continue to close,”​ said Protz. “But they are being replaced by new pubs, often in the most unlikely places.”

New style pubs have been taking over everywhere from old train station booking offices, to former delivery areas for packaging companies.

Number one spot

In fact, train stations have become the number one spot for new bars to appear in recent years, said Protz.

He said: “It’s full steam ahead for pubs in train stations as Waverley joins London’s Euston, Paddington, King’s Cross and St Pancras, all with excellent pubs, along with stations in Newcastle, Sheffield and York.”

The 2017 edition of the Good Beer Guide also recognised the boom in micro or pop-up pubs, whose number grew to more than 250.

“You can’t keep the good old British pub down,”​ Roger Protz added. “It has always regenerated itself over the centuries and made spirited comebacks after wars and Puritan revolutions.

“Now beer lovers can enjoy great beer in often amazing and bizarre surroundings as a new wave of enthusiasts rides to the pub’s rescue.”

Decline in traditional pubs

It cannot be said whether the decline in traditional pubs and people ‘going down the local’ has led to more consumers to drink at home.

While supermarket sales had seen a continued deflation of 1.1%, there had been a small rise of 0.3% which analyst Kantar Worldpanel attributed to a rise in alcohol sales.

Consumers celebrating recent summer sporting victories for Great Britain’s Olympic and Paralympic teams had boosted alcohol sales, claimed Kantar.

Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel, said: “Sparkling wines including Prosecco and Champagne led the way with growth of 36.0%, as promotional events across a number of retailers successfully tapped into the nation’s celebratory mood.”

Related topics: Drinks

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