Over one third (34%) of pubs and bars in the UK are defined as ‘at risk of failure’ in the next 12 months, according to research by R3, the insolvency trade body. In London, the proportion of pubs and bars ‘at risk’ is even higher, at 37%, which highlights that even the capital is not immune to the effects of the squeeze on consumer spending. The only other region worse affected than London is the South East, where 39% of pubs and bars are ‘at risk’. The figure is compared to a national cross-sector average of 23% of businesses ‘at risk’. 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. For many, going to the pub after work is being replaced by buying cheaper alcohol in the supermarkets, and the strain on pubs and bars is really showing.” “London is full of bars and pubs, many of which are offering incentives and discounts to try and get people through the door, but for some even this will not be enough. Customers are getting more and more discerning, not only about what they drink, but where. Those who cannot compete with the most trendy, convenient or best value in the city may well face closure in the not too distant future.”