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Charles Wells Pub Company has announced a price and duty freeze on draught beers and ciders and is supporting the move by offering practical assistance to licensees on a flexible needs basis.

Prices of own brewed beers had previously been held until 2nd February 2009, but Charles Wells has informed its licensees that it will hold the current prices and duty on draught beers and ciders from 2nd February to 4th April 2009.

“We’re working with our retailers to deliver the practical support they need” explained Charles Wells Pub Company Managing Director Anthony Wallis. “Their immediate concern is to remain competitive and we’ve therefore decided to absorb price and duty rises on draught beers and ciders until April 4th 2009. We’ll continue to monitor industry trends so that we can review what help is needed from April onwards in consultation with our suppliers and licensees.”

“We’re providing a number of additional benefits to help our retailers” continued Wallis. “Free training places are being offered, for example, on the award winning Charles Wells Retail Induction Support Programme, CRISP, and these have proved very popular. It’s important that retailers don’t ignore the importance of training to help strengthen and develop their business and CRISP includes a number of modules that are relevant to new and existing licensees. Our current retailers have therefore been offered free places for them or their staff on up to four training sessions on the February and March courses.”

In cases where licensees are no longer able to raise the necessary working capital from banks, Charles Wells Pub Company has designed an inventory purchase scheme to buy and rent back inventory on conditional purchase agreements. “Each of our retailers has different needs and this is just one solution we’ve implemented after listening to their feedback” explained Wallis.

Charles Wells Pub Company recognises the importance of ongoing property investment and has maintained its commitment to projects that display a commercial argument for refreshing or refurbishing the property. Developments, external upgrades and maintenance projects will therefore continue with an anticipated total spend of £4million allocated.

“We’re sure that by holding the price and duty rises on draught beers and ciders and offering a number of different support mechanisms, we’re providing the practical support that individual licensees require” concluded Wallis. “We’ll continue to listen to their needs and identify realistic assistance as effectively as we can because we know that we must work together to build successful and profitable businesses.”

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For Immediate Release: 3rd February 2009

For Further Information, please contact: Kate Hempsall

Tel: + 44 (0)1234 272625

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