LONDON – At Crooked Well, a South London neighborhood pub that prides itself on its food, the Christmas menu has already been decided. There will be venison and beef stews. But whether the stews will actually be served is another question.
As part of a new lockdown scheduled to last for a month, pubs in England have closed again. From November 5 to December 2, restaurants, gyms and non-essential stores are closed as part of a government effort to suppress a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
Britain’s first lockdown lasted more than three months, followed by an array of restrictions that have evolved since then. No one knows how long this lockdown will really last.
The two nights leading up to the lockdown, “we were very busy, it was like all of London was out,” said Hector Skinner, one of the owners and manager of Crooked Well. “Now I don’t know. I really do not know. I feel like it’s going to last longer.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has tried to sell the new lockdown to pandemic-weary Britons saying it will hopefully allow families to be together during the holidays. But, he conceded, “Christmas is going to be different this year, very different.”
And this is the problem of the hotel industry, which fears losing a crucial month. According to the British Beer and Pub Association, around 20-30% of annual income is made around Christmas and the holidays. At Crooked Well, a good week in December would bring in double the best week in the summer.
If the pubs can’t reopen in December, “then these businesses won’t survive January and February, which are like graveyard months for us,” said Emma McClarkin, general manager of the industrial trade group, which represents about 20 000 ads.
WeWork released financial data Thursday that offered a grim view of how office buildings in major cities – and collaborative workspaces, in particular – are doing during the coronavirus pandemic.
Company revenue was $ 811 million in the third quarter, down about 26% from the first quarter and 8% from the second quarter, said WeWork chief executive Sandeep Mathrani. , and CFO, Benjamin Dunham, in an email to employees.
WeWork, a private company, has not released full financial statements. For example, the email did not indicate how much money the company had made or lost in the third quarter.
WeWork rents space in office buildings and then commissions freelancers, start-ups, and large corporations to use it. Its executives once said the company would revolutionize the way people work, but its meteoric growth brought it on the brink of financial collapse last year, forcing the company to withdraw an initial public offering and shut down. accept a bailout from SoftBank, the Japanese conglomerate and its largest shareholder.
While tens of millions of people are working from home during the pandemic, many WeWork customers have let their subscriptions expire. Executives said the company had 542,000 memberships at the end of the third quarter, down 11% from 612,000 at the end of the second quarter.
Executives said there were signs of improvement. “Gross office sales,” a measure of new space rentals that do not include departing customers, increased 8% in the third quarter from the second quarter.
SoftBank has invested billions of dollars in the business to keep it going. In the third quarter, executives said “free cash flow,” a term they didn’t define but which generally describes the amount of cash a business has collected or spent in a given time period. , was negative $ 517 million. That’s an improvement from the second quarter, when free cash flow was negative $ 671 million. The company had cash and commitments from investors or lenders to provide liquidity of $ 3.6 billion at the end of the third quarter, up from $ 4.1 billion at the end of the second quarter.
Due to deals made months ago, WeWork is still expanding. It had 859 locations in 151 cities in the third quarter, up from 843 locations in the second quarter. The company tried to renegotiate deals with the owners and by September had made deals to vacate 66 sites, Mr Mathrani and Mr Dunham said.