The latest figures from Wetherspoon are pretty good as usual. Turnover up in a difficult market, further expansion planned. Not really newsworthy; it's what we expect from them. One small fact interested me though. Two pubs closed in the last six months, three in the previous year.
If you're like me you've no doubt presumed that a Wetherspoon pub is guaranteed to succeed. They come in, offer good value food and drink, the existing pubs raise the white flag and ker-ching! Delving a little deeper I've found that over 90 Wetherspoon pubs have been closed, demolished or sold. Even deducting some airport bars that were lost due to re-development it still leaves about 80 pubs that were not viable. What I found strange is that the vast majority of failed 'Spoons were in Greater London, just the area where the cheap beer/food model just have had the greatest effect.
I personally know of one Wetherspoon that failed, in Neston, Wirral. Not all that surprising really. It's a Royston Vasey-like community with a dislike of outsiders where the middle aged men (and women) still like a gallon of ale and a fight. What about the other closures? I'd like to find out.