Buzz Bingo has announced that it will close nine of its 91 clubs due to an “ongoing and challenging operating environment”.
The closures will impact a likely 151 staff members of the bingo operator’s 2,500 UK workforce, to whom “Buzz is committed to supporting at this difficult time”.
Media was informed that Buzz will proceed to close down its venues in Surrey Quays and Slough in London, and the Belle Vue in Manchester.
Further regional closures will impact Buzz venues in Carlisle, Birkenhead, West Yorkshire, the Wirral and Dumfries (Scotland).
A management statement detailed that Buzz Bingo could not escape multiple post-pandemic challenges facing businesses in the leisure and hospitality sectors.
It reported: “Like many, Buzz Bingo has had to contend with a change in customer behaviour following the pandemic, alongside a loss in consumer confidence due to the rising cost of living and threat of recession.”
A decline in customer numbers had been further compounded by increased energy and operational costs to running its bingo clubs – in which Buzz identified nine venues as no longer financially viable.
Chief Executive, Dominic Mansour, commented: “These closures will, very sadly, impact a number of our colleagues and so our priority is to support all those affected and to do everything we can to minimise job losses. I personally want to thank them for their commitment and service to Buzz.
“Believe me, no-one wants to make the call to close Clubs. However, it is my belief that it’s these decisions that will allow us to restructure the business for long-term growth and to protect the livelihoods of our colleagues for the long run.”
Operationally, Buzz will seek to run its existing venues at a remaining capacity of approximately 2,300 employees.
Operating formerly as ‘Gala Bingo’, Buzz is owned by the private equity fund the Intermediate Capital Group (ICG Plc), who acquired the company from Caledonia Investments in 2021 for a ‘nominal amount’.