More than a third of pubs and bars across the West are at risk of going bust in the next 12 months, way above the rate of companies in general.
Leisure spending has been hit particularly hard by spending cuts, with drinkers opting for supermarket take-outs and a night in front of the television, rather than a night in a pub, industry experts have warned.
And even the ‘high-end’ pubs and dining bars are experiencing trouble, with customers eating out far less frequently.
That was the warning from R3, the insolvency trade body, which warned that the figure of 34 per cent of the nation’s pubs and bars defined as ‘at risk of failure’ in the next year compares to just 23 per cent across all sectors of business, although that figure is high itself.
Lee Manning, R3 president, said: “There is a considerably higher proportion of pubs and bars at risk, when compared to the cross-sector average.
"The recession has gone on far longer than could have been predicted and it is getting harder for people to find the money to spend on discretionary items.
"Going to the pub is being replaced by buying alcohol in the supermarkets, and the strain on pubs and bars is really showing.”