Pub companies: follow-up - Business, Innovation and Skills Committee Contents

Memorandum submitted by Penelope Waller

  Without wishing to labour a point, the price we as tenants are charged for our supplies is scandalous.

  My lease reads "The tenant will buy beers and ciders from us at discounted prices".

  So—one example: Budweiser bottles, Punch price after discount £26 plus VAT, £29.90 or £1.25 per bottle. Tesco price £7 for 10 or £0.70 per bottle.

  Draft beers—the price for Hooky bitter is £85.26—locally it is advertised for £56!

  Why is it that a company that owns 10 times more premises than J D Weatherspoons, (or used to) is unable to get the same or better discounts to pass on to their tenants? The economy is something that all businesses have to deal with and is not the fault of the pubcos.

  What they need to justify is the fact that they state in their lease to supply goods at a discount when in fact it is actually a premium. Even though I am sure they have got it legally correct—it states from their price list (we can all make up a list and call things discounted) what they are doing is misleading in the first place, immoral in the second place and overall downright greedy!

  There is no other explanation and it is now time that they accept they were wrong to charge such inflated prices—not start bleating about putting the rent up for free of tie, as rent is supposed to be fair market anyway—and allow their tenants the benefit of their massive buying power so that we can compete with the likes of JD Weatherspoon and Joe Bloggs in his freehold down the road! Basic economics tell us that most things can be bought for a discount relative to quantity. That means Pubcos buy cheaper than an individual pub owner, it means that larger pubcos such as Punch and Enterprise buy cheaper than a company owning 800 premises, it means that you are cheating your customers-us-and as a result we are suffering.

  Yes, you are making some attempts to help—we recently received a rent reduction, which is great but I fear not enough.

  Wake up and smell the coffee Pubcos—time for change!

4 November 2009

previous page contents next page

House of Commons home page Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2010
Prepared 4 March 2010