Brewer freezes prices to tempt World Cup drinkers

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The Independent Online
WOLVERHAMPTON & Dudley, the UK's largest regional brewer and pub group, is planning to freeze the price of its beer throughout the summer in an effort to attract customers during the World Cup and step up its competition with the national pub companies.

The group hopes to draw in sports fans who would normally watch the football at home nursing a few cans of beer bought from the supermarket or off- licence. David Thompson, chief executive, said yesterday: "We want to get people out of a dark room to watch football in our pubs. Where better to drink than at a Banks's pub where prices are guaranteed."

A pint of Banks's bitter and Cameron's, its North-eastern brew, will be held at around pounds 1.40 a pint. W&D has embarked on the strategy instead of investing heavily promoting its brands.

"We went out in Warrington last week and the only pubs that were selling beer were those charging one pound for a bottle of lager. It makes more sense to hold prices rather than spend money promoting beers," said Mr Thompson.

W&D needs all the help it can get from the World Cup. It admitted yesterday that it had suffered a disappointing Easter, and trading in the second half of its financial year had started poorly.

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