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Cut Rent For Droitwich Pub

Friday, February 26, 2016

GMB Call On Marston’s For Level Playing Field So That Worcestershire Tied Tenant Can Compete Fairly With Other Pubs

Tied Tenant is left with the choice of either signing up to a new agreement that she knows will eventually bankrupt her or handing back her keys says GMB.


GMB, the union for tied pub tenants, is calling on Marston’s to lower the rent it is charging to one of its tied tenants in Droitwich, Worcestershire so that the tenant can compete fairly with other pubs in the area.

A Marston’s tied tenant, Trudy Thomas of the Rifleman’s Arms, now finds herself unable to compete with two nearby Marston’s pubs because she has higher outgoings than them.

Two competing pubs in the town are under retail agreements with Marston’s meaning they pay less for their beer. Trudy Thomas wants lower wholesale prices and a lower rent to compete with these two pubs.

Dave Mountford, the GMB representative for tied pub tenants, said “Trudy Thomas took on the lease of a Marston’s pub, the Rifleman’s Arms in Droitwich in 2005. Marston’s also own another four pubs in Droitwich, two of which are local competitors to the Rifleman’s Arms.

The two competing pubs were placed under Marston’s retail agreements, after failing to stay afloat on a standard lease. These agreements allow them to sell their beer at considerably lower prices than Ms Thomas. Effectively, these “retail” agreements mean that Ms Thomas has been priced out of her market by her own business partner.

Adding insult to injury, Ms Thomas has recently received her rental figure which shows no reduction in her £25,000 per year rent, despite the pub’s clear and unchallengeable competition from her own business partner and the BBPA’s data showing that beer sales have fallen dramatically over the last 7 years or so.

Unwilling to continue to make money for Marston’s whilst they are seemingly only interested in making sure she fails, Ms Thomas is hoping to set up a meeting with someone from Marston’s to discuss her exit strategy if the company do not see sense.

In exchange for the huge profits landlords make from beer sales, tied tenants should expect some assistance in keeping their businesses afloat. Instead, the leased side of Marston’s business shows consistent and complete disinterest in their tenant’s plight

Ms Thomas is left with the choice of either signing up to a new agreement that she knows will eventually bankrupt her or handing back her keys and leaving with nothing but proud memories and huge debt.”


Ends

Contact: Dave Mountford on 07792 298954 or 07794 021212 or the GMB Press Office on 07921 289880 or 07974 251823 or 07970 863411

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