Thursday, 28 January 2010

Lees Freeze

JW Lees is freezing its prices for the whole of 2010. Managing director William Lees-Jones (left) said: "We are putting our customers and licensees first and are pledging that we will not put up the wholesale or retail price of any JW Lees beers in 2010. It would be "cynical" to raise prices because we have benefited from reductions in raw material and energy costs this year. However, any additional rises in beer duty or VAT would mean price rises."

Whayhay. More money in Tandleman's coffers and more importantly, in hard pressed publican's pockets, while not discouraging pub attendance. It might not make a huge difference, but it is a step in the right direction. Who's going to follow?

The Morning Advertiser has the story here.

16 comments:

Barry M said...

Does that also mean they won't lower prices, passing reductions in production costs on to the customers who may have been feeling a recessionary squeeze?

Tandleman said...

Lowering prices? Huh.

Richard said...

Lower prices often means a new entrant into the market - it's not something most existing companies seem capable of!

Kristy said...

Sounds very grand and great for punters but the harsh reality is that it's just someone else paying for it. According to the MA piece they've also had a pay freeze in our business for 18 months which to me is really unfair.

I would sooner pay a few pence more for my beer and recognise just how hard people in the pub game have to work - why should they have to lose out to give their bosses a nice PR story?

Tandleman said...

I didn't have you down as such a cynic Kristy. Just a PR job? While I agree it may not be good for the workers to have apay freeze, isn't that rather common in the private sector just now?

I know enough Lees people to know that Lees is a good company to work for. Equally I'm guessing they'd rather have a pay freeze than no job.

In addition this is a really depressed area, with both employment and money scarce. This isn't a bad news story.

Cooking Lager said...

Personally I'm in favour of everyone else having a pay cut and prices falling whilst I get a pay rise.

Just a pity it's on Lees piss and not decent honest cooking lager goodness.

Tyson said...

"I would sooner pay a few pence more for my beer and recognise just how hard people in the pub game have to work - why should they have to lose out to give their bosses a nice PR story"

Hmmm. Despite beer sales falling, the big boys like Molson Coors somehow managed to increase their profits. And the government also managed to take a few more quid off me by raising prices.

Personally, I'd like to see them all taking a few pence out of their pocket and putting in mine by REDUCING prices. You never know, Kirsty, there may be even be some left over for the workers to get a pay rise.

Tandleman said...

It's the rich wot gets the pleasure, it's the poor wot gets the blame.

Under the guise of the poor old workers, there is something of a "let them eat cake" feel to Kristy's argument.

RedNev said...

I think there is something to what Kristy says. Tyson's point about profits is right as far as it goes, but those profits go to the shareholders and directors, not to the ordinary workers, and I judge those are the people Kristy is referring to. If there's a pay freeze, they're getting the blame as well.

Tandleman said...

But is the answer just to stick a few more pennies on the beer, driving more people to drink at home and making the pub unaffordable to the ordinary Lees drinker?

And no profits means no jobs. Nobody going to the pub in Lees case means no profits means no jobs and no brewery. They ain't selling much to supermarkets.

RedNev said...

I don't recall saying or implying any of that ~ I just think Kristy has a point.

Tandleman said...

I didn't say you did. I was addressing the point of Kristy where she says just put the prices up.

Kristy said...

Not a cynic but I do believe that the biggest asset any company has is it's people and your first priority should be to look after them shouldn't it?

If Lees can afford a price freeze I suspect that it's not just the result of input costs not rising, it will also be because their staff have reduced operating costs and maintained profits and that should be rewarded by a pay rise. To suggest that they should be grateful to be in a job in that area is exploitative.

And while JW Lees costs may not have risen the everday household costs for their people have so now it's actually them that are funding this by having less to spend at the end of the month.

As RedNev points out this isn't about shareholder profits, it's about the staff that are bringing them in and they should be rewarded for that

Cooking Lager said...

Well Kristy, I manage a team of people and I can tell you my best asset is not people. It's paper clips. I can manage without the people. Cannot manage without paper clips to make shapes out of

Tyson said...

"As RedNev points out this isn't about shareholder profits, it's about the staff that are bringing them in and they should be rewarded for that,"

But it is. I agree the staff should be rewarded, but it is illogical and unfair to suggest that the onus for this lies with me.

Suggesting I pay more is the kind of arguement that governments like. It merely perpetrates the myth that there is insufficent money in the pot. There is plenty of money in the pot: it what is done with it that is the problem.

You bemoan the fact that there is a pay freeze in your sector and I sympathise. But, for wxample, It would take only the very slightest of diversions of profit for your bosses to alievate the problem. The fact is they, and others, don't want to. Unfortunate, but hardly a reason for putting my pint up.

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't it be better if Lees tried to brew beer that tasted like Lees