Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

At least 50k sites to be shut or unviable under new tiers

Published:  30 November, 2020

More than 50,000 of England’s licensed premises will be unable to trade under the government’s tough new tiered restrictions coming into place this week, according to research for the latest edition of the Market Recovery Monitor from CGA and AlixPartners

Initial takeaways from the report, which will be published in full later this week, show that 36,648 premises — 39% of England’s total — are located in Tier 3 areas, where hospitality venues must stay closed except for takeaways and deliveries. 

Another 55%, or 55,502 sites, are in Tier 2 areas, where alcoholic drinks can’t be sold unless with ‘substantial’ meals. CGA’s research suggests that at least a third of these sites will not be viable under these and other Tier 2 restrictions.

This takes the number of sites likely to stay closed after the end of lockdown to 50,000 at a minimum. The number will rise further if operators in Tier 2 areas decide that other regulations, including on curfews and group sizes, make it unprofitable to trade.

CGA’s research shows that just 2% of England’s licensed premises—a total of 2,227 sites—are located in Tier 1 areas, where restrictions are loosest. Here, too, a significant number of businesses could decide to remain closed.

“With nearly two in five English sites unable to welcome guests and more than half subject to major constraints, December is going to be difficult in the extreme,” said Karl Chessell, business unit director for food and retail at CGA. 

“Hospitality has worked incredibly hard to give people safe and pleasurable experiences since July, but the tiered system in the most important trading month of the year is going to place the future of many of them in jeopardy,” he said.

Reopening figures from Scotland and Wales made “ominous reading as England emerges from lockdown”, he added, pointing to the analysis [included in the forthcoming report] of the market in Scotland and Wales, where restrictions have eased in recent weeks. 

“Only 40.4% of sites in Scotland are trading at the end of November, with 7,189 of them in regions designated as Level 3 or 4, where they are subject to limited trading or forced to close,” said Chessell, with trading numbers in Wales only slightly higher at 42.2%, despite the country ending a 17-day ‘firebreak’ lockdown earlier this month.

Last week, Matt Hancock confirmed that 31 areas in England will be heading into the highest level of restrictions on Wednesday 2 December when the country emerges from full lockdown, with 38 areas bound for Tier 2, while just three parts of England will be under Tier 1, the lowest level of restrictions.