Almost a third of licensed premises already shut before lockdown

The latest market recovery monitor from CGA and AlixPartners has found that nearly a third of all licensed premises in Britain ceased trading before the end of October, due to trading restrictions.

The report shows that 30.1% of licensed premises, equivalent to almost 12,000 sites, had closed their doors before the four-week lockdown came into place.

The government’s three-tier system had a large impact on the results, with roughly half of those in tier three remaining open, compared to 83.6% and 82.8% in tiers one and two respectively.

Karl Chessel, business unit director for food and retail at CGA, said: “Much more support is going to be needed to prevent a wave of permanent closures over the winter.

“Hospitality has been steadily reopening since the end of the first national lockdown, and nearly 20,000 sites opened their doors again over August and September—but October saw an abrupt end to the recovery.”

Small businesses have been the hardest hit by the restrictions, with the report finding that only 63.1% remained open throughout October.

When comparing this to the 81.8% of managed venues that continued to operate, the “acute stress [that] independent businesses are suffering” becomes apparent.

Graeme Smith, managing director at AlixPartners, said: “Undoubtedly, more financially resilient managed pub and restaurant groups are in a better place to ride out the storm.”

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