Sunday, 2 December 2012

JDW and My Home Town

I was in Dumbarton last week to see my mother. One of the first bits of news she gave me was that Wetherspoons are likely to open a pub in Dumbarton. It would be in the old Woolies Store I remember so well from my childhood.  It closed in December 2008 when Woolworths crashed out of business.  The next day when the new local paper came out, it confirmed that planning permission was being recommended to the local council.

I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand it will bring real ale back to the town together with much needed competition and vastly improved choice.  On the other hand it could damage pub trade in a very depressed town, though fears of that may well be exaggerated.  However, if you read the County Reporter, the usual concerns are being trotted out. It was interesting to read JDW's take on this.  A spokesman said " "Wetherspoon's has almost 900 pubs across the UK including around 55 in Scotland. We're not aware of any of our pubs causing others to lose money or close down. In fact, the opposite is true, we encourage people to come into towns because of our brand, which leads to other businesses opening.

" The pubs in this area are already in competition with each other, we will be just one more pub to compete against, and it is the customer's choice where they go." 

Now there will be some that disagree with the first paragraph, but  surely few can disagree with the second?

Photo is from the County Reporter. The main article is here.


Cooking Lager said...

You either believe competition benefits the consumer and the market or you do not.

Neville Grundy said...

I don't believe either position constitutes an invariable truth.

Curmudgeon said...

A lot of the Scottish pub trade is in even more need of a shake-up than the English was before the widespread advent of Spoons.

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Beermunster said...

All Spoons are doing is giving customers what they want. They have a huge selection of drinks, and their prices are generally lower than most other pubs.

And whilst they have considerable buying power, they are offering these lower prices without anything like the buying power of chains like Punch Taverns or Enterprise Inns. Last time I checked Spoons had about 900 pubs, Punch Taverns has something approaching 5,000 pubs. The other big Pub-co's need to stop complaining about the effect Spoons are having on their business and instead look at changing the way they operate to compete.