JD Wetherspoon has put more than 30 pubs up for sale.

The pub giant, chaired by outspoken licensed trade veteran Tim Martin, has instructed property agents CBRE and Savills to find buyers for a mix of 10 freehold and 22 leasehold outlets.

The pubs, which are in “strong” town and city centre locations across England, are being considered for sale individually, in small packages or as a portfolio. Wetherspoon has an estate of about 800 pubs across the UK.

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Spokesman Eddie Gershon said: “On occasion Wetherspoon does put some of its pubs up for sale. This is a commercial decision. We understand that customers and staff will be disappointed with it.

“The pubs will continue to operate as Wetherspoon outlets until they are sold.”

The move by Wetherspoon to sell the pubs comes as the hospitality trade faces intense pressure from the soaring cost of doing business alongside weak consumer confidence. In July, the company said losses for the full year would be higher than expected at £30 million, following investment in labour repairs and marketing since Covid restrictions ended in February.

Wetherspoon reported in July that like-for-like sales in the first 11 weeks of the fourth quarter were down 0.4 per cent, compared with the same period, pre-pandemic, in 2019.

The company said in July: “Many people predicted a boom in pub sales when lockdowns and restrictions ended, due to pent-up demand, but recovery for many companies has been slower and more laborious than was anticipated.”

Paul Breen, director at Savills, said: “Following the success of our earlier marketing campaigns for JD Wetherspoon we are delighted to be launching these 32 properties to the market. These venues are well configured and fitted to a high standard which will make them appealing to a broad range of potential buyers.”  

Toby Hall, senior director at CBRE, noted: “The excellent mix of locations in this portfolio is rarely seen in the market. With more than half of the portfolio located in London and the south-east and other strong locations in the south-west, Midlands and north, we believe the pubs represent an excellent opportunity for existing pub operators and new entrants.”