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Women customers in pubs: still a business opportunity

Pratten, John D. and Lovatt, Christopher J. (2007) Women customers in pubs: still a business opportunity. International journal of wine business research, 19 (2). pp. 90-97. ISSN 1751-1062

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Abstract

Purpose – The aim of this paper was to outline the changes in the 20th century public house, where the simultaneous development of pub products and facilities and a changing environment have encouraged a growth of the female customer. Design/methodology/approach – There has been a heavy use of secondary sources drawn from the whole of the period studied. This has been augmented by discussions with licensees, retired licensees and older pub customers, to collect their reflections on the industry. Findings – The public house of 60 years ago had a largely male, working class beer drinking clientele. Over the years, it has become accessible to women and children, the hungry and those seeking entertainment. These changes have been effected by the owners, introducing new products and altering the premises, licensees seeking to attract trade, government legislation and external factors. This paper attempts to identify the changes and their causes, with particular reference to the female customer. Research limitations/implications – The work reports the changes in the industry and examines some of the causes. Further work could examine such causes more carefully, and could include regional studies for comparison purposes. Practical implications – The paper demonstrates the extent of change, and suggests that further women-friendly moves could be welcomed; it further suggests some strategies to develop the female customer base. Originality/value – The topic could be of interest to the general reader as well as practitioners and students of the hospitality industry. It suggests that pubs can become even more women-friendly, which could represent a business opportunity to some practitioners.

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