‘Challenging’ trading environment pushes Revolution Bars to close eight sites

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

‘Challenging’ trading environment pushes Revolution Bars to close eight sites

Related tags Revolution Bars Group Peach Pubs Revolución de cuba Revolution Casual dining Multi-site Closure Cost of living

Revolution Bars Group has announced it will shutter eight of its ‘least profitable bars’ in order to reduce future losses.

The group will close its Revolution Bars in Beaconsfield, Derby, Reading, St Peters Liverpool and Wilmslow; its Revolución de Cuba sites in Sheffield and Southampton; and the Playhouse in Newcastle-Under-Lyme.

In a trading update, the group cited the challenging macroeconomic trading environment impacting the sector, compounded by the planned increase in the national living wage in April, as being behind the closures.

Negotiations for five of the eight bars have already begun with a view to them either being transferred to other operators or having their leases rescinded.

The group is currently working through redeployment plans to enable those team members affected to be offered alternative employment elsewhere within its estate.

Following the closures, the group will continue to operate 58 bars and 22 pubs.

The announcement of the closures comes as Revolution Bars Group reports that it traded positively over the festive season.

Group like-for-like sales for the four weeks from 4 to 31 December were up 9%.

Revolución de Cuba and Peach Pubs ‘performed well’, according to the group.

However, whilst the Revolution brand traded ‘positively’ on a like for like basis, the group notes that its guests continue to be ‘disproportionately impacted’ by the current economic landscape.

It continues that group like-for-like sales for the first half of the year (H1), including New Year’s Eve, continue to ‘demonstrate an improving trend’, but remain negative at -2.8%.

The Group expects to announce its H1 pre-close trading update on 24 January.

“We have had the best festive trading period for four years with all of our brands recording positive like for like sales and Revolución de Cuba being the standout performer,” says Rob Pitcher, CEO of Revolution Bars Group.

“However, our younger customers are still feeling the disproportionate effect of the cost-of-living crisis and the national living wage will increase materially in April 2024.

“Therefore, we have taken the difficult yet ultimately beneficial step for the group to close several bars which are unprofitable.

“Our teams do a terrific job in making guests welcome and giving them a great experience and again we have demonstrated that when our customer base can afford to do so, they are choosing to celebrate with us, and we have delivered record levels of guest satisfaction. This should bode well for the future.”

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