Supermarkets convert hundreds of pubs into stores

06 February, 2014

CAMRA has taken a swipe at major retailers for converting hundreds of pubs into local stores as the race to dominate the lucrative convenience channel hots up.

The Campaign for Real Ale’s research found that Tesco converted 110 pubs since January 2012, Sainsbury’s funded 29 conversions and The Co-operative converted 23.

Overall 208 pubs have been turned into convenience stores by the multiples since January 2012, and CAMRA claimed it often provokes “outcry” among local residents.

Chief executive Mike Benner said: “The big supermarket chains appear to be targeting pubs for conversion, despite the fact that these pubs are often profitable and popular.

“This behaviour shows a remarkable disregard for the wellbeing of communities that face losing their valued pubs – leaving local people powerless to step in.”

Benner urged the government to close a loophole in planning law that allows pubs to be converted into supermarkets without planning permission.

“Allowing pubs to be converted to supermarkets without planning permission is ludicrous, and something which the Government need to address as a matter of urgency,” added Benner.

Last week OLN reported that off-trade beer sales grew 3.9% in the final quarter of 2013, leaving the overall British beer category in growth for two consecutive quarters for the first time in a decade.

But on-trade sales dipped by 2.2%, further illustrating the power shift that has seen the off-trade grow increasingly dominant in the drinks trade. 

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