Eclectic takes action to improve business after profits warning


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Eclectic Bar Group is taking action to improve its business, including shutting down its latest venue in Bournemouth, after issuing a profits warning two months ago.

It closed Japanese-themed bar Sakura in Bournemouth last week after less than six months, saying that it “continued to underperform despite every effort to stimulate increased trade”.

However, in a trading statement, the company said investments at its tiki bar Lola Lo in Bristol and Embargo Republica (pictured) in London had contributed to improved performance.

After an internal review, Eclectic has also introduced a number of new initiatives to “reinvigorate and encourage” student trade in the next three months, reduce costs and mitigate the effects of competition.

In November, the company said that trading proved difficult in the three months from the end of September last year, caused by increased competition and students going out less.

This particularly affected Lola Lo in Derby and Dirty Blonde in Brighton which were not trading as projected but the company said it was now “making progress” with these sites.

The company added that, after its profits warning on November 25, overall trade for the six months was in line with the board’s expectations.

Eclectic is on schedule to open a new Lola Lo in Sheffield to coincide with the start of the new student year in late September this year, while the timing of the development and opening of Lola Lo in Liverpool is currently under review.

The company added that Lola Lo in Manchester, which opened in December 2013, and Coalition in Brighton, which was acquired in October 2013, were both trading well. Lowlander in London’s Covent Garden has “continued to flourish” since being acquired by Eclectic in March last year.

Planning to release its six-month results in March, the company added: “We remain cautious about trading for the second half which will depend on the outcome of our initiatives to target mid-week student trade and other competition across a number of our locations.”

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