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Pubs in the North West can look forward to a bright future if they find their niche in the market, says a leading legal expert for the leisure sector.

Malcom Ireland, Head of Leisure and Licensing at regional law firm Napthens has said that licensed properties can continue to prosper if they identify a niche market and make sure they are doing it better than anyone else.  His comments came while speaking to David Bremner of Robinsons Brewery as part of a new podcast.

He told the ‘Brief Conversations with Napthens’ podcast: “The leisure industry and its consumers are changing but pubs which are able to find a gap in the market and deliver a high-quality service can still succeed. The message to licensees in the leisure industry is clear – be the best at what you do.

“Whether that is running a gastropub with fine food or focusing on a range of traditional real ales, any business that can find its niche and stand out will always do well. That message is particularly pertinent for the leisure industry – but finding a specialism and excelling at it is a good rule of thumb for any business owner.”

David Bremner, Marketing Director of Robinsons Brewery, added that pubs which find a niche and stay relevant for customers can still stand out.

He said: “The key for pubs nowadays is to pick a gap in the market that exists with enough people interested in what you’re trying to achieve. Licensees need to understand their consumer market and position their offer accordingly.

“It is much more beneficial to find one niche and be great at it – deliver it well and don’t overcomplicate the offer. The opportunity available in today’s market is to be very good at one thing.  If you’re just average at many things then you just won’t attract enough people for your business to be sustainable. The pub industry is very resilient. People go to the pub when times are good, and they go to the pub when times are hard.”

The podcast also covered how the leisure industry is embracing new technologies in order to stay relevant to consumers.

“We have an online tool now where we put in a particular postcode and based on the social demographics of the area we know which type of business is more likely to succeed there,” added David Bremner.

“The demographic of the clientele varies significantly by postcode and each pub has to use this knowledge to understand its consumer base and tailor its offer accordingly.”

The full discussion between Malcolm Ireland and David Bremner can be heard by downloading the podcast, either by subscribing on Spotify or Pippa, or directly via the Napthens website at www.napthens.co.uk/news.

‘Brief Conversations with Napthens’ is a new monthly podcast discussing the key issues affecting businesses and individuals in the North West and beyond.



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