The bar and pub culture have for a long time been a strong tradition in the UK, but now it appears as though there is a new player in the field out to give it a shake; supermarkets. These outlets are offering competitive prices which seem to be driving a sizeable chunk of the clientele from their watering holes.
Given that supermarkets do not have an alcohol consumption area within their premises, they do not incur the extra cost of staffing and maintenance. They can thus afford the leisure of offering drinks at a discounted rate to consumers.
The fact that people are now increasingly busy, and may not have a lot of time to sit in bars and pubs may also be a contributing factor. Research indicates that today, more and more people are involved in work-related tasks even after hours.
There has also been an increased model of self-service in the recent past. People are increasingly using the internet to find out what suits them and then getting it for themselves, directly from the wholesaler or retailer. With a service such as livi.co.uk, for instance, people are able to find out many alcohol effects on their health before making purchases. Livi offers General Practitioner advice on all matters health from the tap of a mobile screen, making it hugely convenient. With proper advice on alcohol intake, users have a guide on the best type which suits them and will often go for the same from the supermarket.
Decline in Alcohol Intake
While competitive alcohol prices play a huge part in supermarkets hiving off a section of bar patrons, the general drop in alcohol use in Britain is also a contributing factor. The general income per capita spent on alcohol has gone down over the last half decade, (except for the surge witnessed during the World Cup).
This is mostly due to the discouragement of high alcohol intake by proponents of healthy living. Rather than go and sit in a bar and get drunk, many people now prefer to take out their alcohol and consume it in small rations at home. Supermarkets offer the most convenient option for takeout, as alcohol is included in general shopping.
What Next for Bars and Pubs?
The traditional watering holes are definitely going to thrive. They offer a social environment which cannot be found at home. Many people flock to bars and pubs, not just to get drunk, but equally to hang out with friends and to have a good time. Themed drinking places such as sports bars, karaoke pubs and biker pubs will continue to attract their niche audiences.
Usually, even those who take away their alcohol will troop to their favourite bar or pub at least once a week.