Survey says half of Southampton pubs face the risk of closing down in a year

Half of city pubs are at risk of closure, says new study

Half of city pubs are at risk of closure, says new study

Boarded up: The Bull's Eye pub in Sholing

First published in News Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Senior reporter

THEY used to be at the heart of every community across Southampton.

But dozens of city pubs have been forced to call last orders for the final time blaming reduced trade and competition from supermarkets.

Now new research has shown that half of Southampton’s remaining watering holes are at risk of closure by the end of next year.

The study, by insolvency trade body R3, revealed that 49 per cent of pubs across the city have been defined as being “at risk of failure” during the next 12 months.

It comes after several Southampton pubs including the Bulls Eye in Butts Road, Sholing, the Winning Post in Peartree Avenue, and The Woodman in Coxford Road, closed recently to be converted into convenience stores.

A total of ten pubs were closed in south Hampshire last year alone, according to figures from the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA).

But landlords from across the city hit back at the study last night.

Stewart Cross, landlord at the Platform Tavern, which opened its own microbrewery in December last year, said: “Every pub has struggled lately with the smoking ban, the added duty on beer and supermarkets offering cheap deals – it’s hammering pubs.

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“But you have to do something different to stay ahead of the field and keep customers coming in. You can’t just stand there and struggle otherwise you will end up closing.

“The microbrewery has definitely helped us. It’s not hugely profitable but it’s unique.”

Dawn Gentry, landlady at the Junction Inn, in St Denys, which reopened last month after being devastated by a fire, said that pubs shouldn’t just be a place for people to drink.

She added: “It’s not all about alcohol and it can’t just be about alcohol. All sorts of people come in here for different reasons – some need to borrow a stamp or need something photocopied, other people just want a chat.

“There’s definitely still a place for pubs. They are still a vital part of communities like ours.

But you only get out what you put in and we work like dogs here. If you don’t work hard, you’re not going to succeed.”

Nick Keitley, chairman of R3’s southern committee said: “The number of drinking establishments at risk in Southampton is a worry, particularly considering the recent boosts they would have seen thanks to the PSP Southampton Boat Show and Freshers’ Week.

“The recession has gone on far longer than could have been predicted and it is getting harder for people to find the money to spend on discretionary items.

“For many, going to the pub after work is being replaced by buying cheaper alcohol in the supermarkets, and the strain on pubs and bars is really showing.”

The study found that four out of ten pubs and bars in the south east are at risk of failure in the next 12 months.

Comments (35)

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11:18am Mon 22 Oct 12

Might SS says...

Reduce the prices.
Reduce the prices. Might SS
  • Score: 0

11:21am Mon 22 Oct 12

one in a million says...

Too expensive!
Too expensive! one in a million
  • Score: 0

11:25am Mon 22 Oct 12

Shoong says...

What's more annoying is that further up north you go the cheaper a pint gets!
What's more annoying is that further up north you go the cheaper a pint gets! Shoong
  • Score: 0

11:38am Mon 22 Oct 12

Over the Edge says...

Supermarkets and massive pub chains ordering en masse from brewers is forcing the prices down for them doesn't help the smaller independent pubs, the breweries do not give a jot about whether their beer is sold in cans or in a pint class as long as it's sold.

The traditional British pub days are coming to an end.
Supermarkets and massive pub chains ordering en masse from brewers is forcing the prices down for them doesn't help the smaller independent pubs, the breweries do not give a jot about whether their beer is sold in cans or in a pint class as long as it's sold. The traditional British pub days are coming to an end. Over the Edge
  • Score: 0

11:40am Mon 22 Oct 12

FoysCornerBoy says...

A major problem also is the relatively cheap availability of alcohol from supermarkets and convenience stores granted a license.

I think we should look again at licensing legislation as well as the tax/ duty regime in order to encourage and promote the basic British boozer.

For instance how about zero-rated VAT on beer that is brewed using local ingredients or some relief from business rates where the local and resident (sic) publican can clearly demonstrate to the authorities their valuable contribution to the community?
A major problem also is the relatively cheap availability of alcohol from supermarkets and convenience stores granted a license. I think we should look again at licensing legislation as well as the tax/ duty regime in order to encourage and promote the basic British boozer. For instance how about zero-rated VAT on beer that is brewed using local ingredients or some relief from business rates where the local and resident (sic) publican can clearly demonstrate to the authorities their valuable contribution to the community? FoysCornerBoy
  • Score: 0

11:52am Mon 22 Oct 12

Nicole23 says...

£1 a pint in Poland
£1 a pint in Poland Nicole23
  • Score: 0

12:02pm Mon 22 Oct 12

MGRA says...

Good, fight clubs are closing soon....
Good, fight clubs are closing soon.... MGRA
  • Score: -1

12:20pm Mon 22 Oct 12

sotonboy84 says...

I do enjoy going to pubs and like the atmosphere but when a pint can easily cost £4 (or more) and a bottle of wine £15, you can see why people would rather drink at home.
I do enjoy going to pubs and like the atmosphere but when a pint can easily cost £4 (or more) and a bottle of wine £15, you can see why people would rather drink at home. sotonboy84
  • Score: 0

12:26pm Mon 22 Oct 12

michaelwhite says...

I guess there's a law saying that landlords/owners cannot buy cheap products from the supermarkets and then sell it at a mark-up in their pub, otherwise they would. Sure, cheap booze appears to be killing pubs and this needs to be looked at. I live in Thailand where beer is more expensive in pubs than the UK (up to 6 quid a pint) and yet trade is booming. Prices in supermarkets are as low as 30p a pint, so maybe that's not the problem in the UK. Are people becoming more unsociable? Interesting topic.
I guess there's a law saying that landlords/owners cannot buy cheap products from the supermarkets and then sell it at a mark-up in their pub, otherwise they would. Sure, cheap booze appears to be killing pubs and this needs to be looked at. I live in Thailand where beer is more expensive in pubs than the UK (up to 6 quid a pint) and yet trade is booming. Prices in supermarkets are as low as 30p a pint, so maybe that's not the problem in the UK. Are people becoming more unsociable? Interesting topic. michaelwhite
  • Score: 0

12:32pm Mon 22 Oct 12

StMarysSaint says...

For a male, 3 pints ( 6 units), a night would not have been seen as excessive at one time. The cost £10+, 5 nights a week £50, how can the average working man afford that?
For a male, 3 pints ( 6 units), a night would not have been seen as excessive at one time. The cost £10+, 5 nights a week £50, how can the average working man afford that? StMarysSaint
  • Score: 0

12:39pm Mon 22 Oct 12

becksbeare says...

Nicole23 wrote:
£1 a pint in Poland
Nice thought, but it's a long way to go for an evening out
[quote][p][bold]Nicole23[/bold] wrote: £1 a pint in Poland[/p][/quote]Nice thought, but it's a long way to go for an evening out becksbeare
  • Score: 0

1:11pm Mon 22 Oct 12

George4th says...

The pub scene changed with the growth of theme pubs in the late 90s. Youngsters wanted modern surroundings and modern music and they had the money!
>
Supermarkets certainly don't help!
>
Smoking Ban hasn't helped either!
>
But, for me, the death knell of the local pub was when the Labour government extended the drinking hours and also encouraged every corner shop in the land to apply for an alcohol licence! You can buy alcohol at your local convenience store so why would you pay Pub prices?! (You just have to be careful that they aren't selling bootleg booze!!)
The pub scene changed with the growth of theme pubs in the late 90s. Youngsters wanted modern surroundings and modern music and they had the money! > Supermarkets certainly don't help! > Smoking Ban hasn't helped either! > But, for me, the death knell of the local pub was when the Labour government extended the drinking hours and also encouraged every corner shop in the land to apply for an alcohol licence! You can buy alcohol at your local convenience store so why would you pay Pub prices?! (You just have to be careful that they aren't selling bootleg booze!!) George4th
  • Score: 0

1:16pm Mon 22 Oct 12

Plum Pudding says...

Which is the problem? That supermarkets are able to offer beer that is less expensive than pubs, or that pub supplied beer is much more expensive? They are to a great extent separate issues! Pubs offer a service by providing glasses, staff to serve, a venue and ambience. Supermarkets offer none of these. However going to the pub is certainly not a cheap evening and as almost everyone has commented, beer is too expensive. With high overheads, rent, wages, rates etc. landlords are forced to sell at very high prices but they all too often are held to ransom by Pubcos who buy in bulk and at the lowest prices, but sell to their tenants at what can only be described as eye watering cost making a bad situation very much worse. How many Enterprise Inn tenants have we seen go out of business last year alone? The British institution is indeed under threat but largely because everyone is taking their cut and creating this situation, it is however not down to the supermarkets!
Which is the problem? That supermarkets are able to offer beer that is less expensive than pubs, or that pub supplied beer is much more expensive? They are to a great extent separate issues! Pubs offer a service by providing glasses, staff to serve, a venue and ambience. Supermarkets offer none of these. However going to the pub is certainly not a cheap evening and as almost everyone has commented, beer is too expensive. With high overheads, rent, wages, rates etc. landlords are forced to sell at very high prices but they all too often are held to ransom by Pubcos who buy in bulk and at the lowest prices, but sell to their tenants at what can only be described as eye watering cost making a bad situation very much worse. How many Enterprise Inn tenants have we seen go out of business last year alone? The British institution is indeed under threat but largely because everyone is taking their cut and creating this situation, it is however not down to the supermarkets! Plum Pudding
  • Score: 0

1:27pm Mon 22 Oct 12

On the inside says...

Whatever the reason for the decline in pub usage is it is NOT the price of a pint.

In 1975 a pint was, at best, 50p. Now a pint is, (again at best), about £3.00. That means it takes just under half an hour to earn the price of a pint even on minimum wage (£6.19ph). Most people are on more than the minimum wage. If you earnt £1ph in 1975 you were doing well.

In real inflation terms a pint should now be about £4.20.

Again, whatever it is, it is NOT the price.
Whatever the reason for the decline in pub usage is it is NOT the price of a pint. In 1975 a pint was, at best, 50p. Now a pint is, (again at best), about £3.00. That means it takes just under half an hour to earn the price of a pint even on minimum wage (£6.19ph). Most people are on more than the minimum wage. If you earnt £1ph in 1975 you were doing well. In real inflation terms a pint should now be about £4.20. Again, whatever it is, it is NOT the price. On the inside
  • Score: 0

1:33pm Mon 22 Oct 12

Georgem says...

Nicole23 wrote:
£1 a pint in Poland
Average wage in Poland?
[quote][p][bold]Nicole23[/bold] wrote: £1 a pint in Poland[/p][/quote]Average wage in Poland? Georgem
  • Score: 0

1:55pm Mon 22 Oct 12

michaelwhite says...

On the inside wrote:
Whatever the reason for the decline in pub usage is it is NOT the price of a pint.

In 1975 a pint was, at best, 50p. Now a pint is, (again at best), about £3.00. That means it takes just under half an hour to earn the price of a pint even on minimum wage (£6.19ph). Most people are on more than the minimum wage. If you earnt £1ph in 1975 you were doing well.

In real inflation terms a pint should now be about £4.20.

Again, whatever it is, it is NOT the price.
I completely agree. As I mentioned earlier, I regularly pay more for a pint here in Bangkok than back home, but not many bars/pubs are struggling. And no, I'm not referring to entertainment establishments, just ordinary pubs. I don't think price is the issue.
[quote][p][bold]On the inside[/bold] wrote: Whatever the reason for the decline in pub usage is it is NOT the price of a pint. In 1975 a pint was, at best, 50p. Now a pint is, (again at best), about £3.00. That means it takes just under half an hour to earn the price of a pint even on minimum wage (£6.19ph). Most people are on more than the minimum wage. If you earnt £1ph in 1975 you were doing well. In real inflation terms a pint should now be about £4.20. Again, whatever it is, it is NOT the price.[/p][/quote]I completely agree. As I mentioned earlier, I regularly pay more for a pint here in Bangkok than back home, but not many bars/pubs are struggling. And no, I'm not referring to entertainment establishments, just ordinary pubs. I don't think price is the issue. michaelwhite
  • Score: 0

2:04pm Mon 22 Oct 12

StMarysSaint says...

I used to use my local but it was too expensive:25%

Well 25% of respondents think it is the price, and that is a huge hit for Pubs to take.

I'd be interested to know how many are voting, because the larger the sample, the more accurate the result in the population as a whole, which if you actually know anything about statistics, you will be aware of.
I used to use my local but it was too expensive:25% Well 25% of respondents think it is the price, and that is a huge hit for Pubs to take. I'd be interested to know how many are voting, because the larger the sample, the more accurate the result in the population as a whole, which if you actually know anything about statistics, you will be aware of. StMarysSaint
  • Score: 0

2:43pm Mon 22 Oct 12

marma495 says...

The poll is irrelevant as it does,nt cover all the options.
My answer would have been,
I used to go to go regularly to the pub before the ridiculous smoking ban came in.
Why on earth have a poll if the main reason for the decline in the pub trade is completely ignored?
Smoke and mirrors
The poll is irrelevant as it does,nt cover all the options. My answer would have been, I used to go to go regularly to the pub before the ridiculous smoking ban came in. Why on earth have a poll if the main reason for the decline in the pub trade is completely ignored? Smoke and mirrors marma495
  • Score: -1

3:11pm Mon 22 Oct 12

peter.maidment says...

i can only comment for my self, but i can count on both hands the number of times i have been to my local since the smoking ban, its not the price of a pint that stops me, infact i used to use a pub in the mid 80s where you could smoke in the public bar but not in the lounge bar, no prizes for guessing wich was the busiest bar
i can only comment for my self, but i can count on both hands the number of times i have been to my local since the smoking ban, its not the price of a pint that stops me, infact i used to use a pub in the mid 80s where you could smoke in the public bar but not in the lounge bar, no prizes for guessing wich was the busiest bar peter.maidment
  • Score: 0

3:34pm Mon 22 Oct 12

chas says...

I agree marma495. I also used to go to pubs before the smoking ban, but rarely do now. Supermarkets have sold cheap alcohol for decades and in any case people have never gone to pubs for cheap drinks, but to socialise.
I agree marma495. I also used to go to pubs before the smoking ban, but rarely do now. Supermarkets have sold cheap alcohol for decades and in any case people have never gone to pubs for cheap drinks, but to socialise. chas
  • Score: 0

3:35pm Mon 22 Oct 12

George4th says...

I suspect that with equality working the way it does in the modern world, it probably keeps a lots of men at home these days!
I suspect that with equality working the way it does in the modern world, it probably keeps a lots of men at home these days! George4th
  • Score: 0

3:42pm Mon 22 Oct 12

sass says...

Drink driving enforcement is also to blame. Aging baby boomers are being more responsible.
Drink driving enforcement is also to blame. Aging baby boomers are being more responsible. sass
  • Score: 0

3:56pm Mon 22 Oct 12

CharlesIIX says...

I have not voted because, as someone has already stated, the main reason has been omitted - Smoking ban! This is 'head in sand' stuff!

Yes it is expensive now to go to the pub Why, because in 2007 the smoking ban effectively barred smokers - so they stopped going or went less as did many of their non-smoking friends. The convivial pub atmosphere was lost in the process, alienating even more of the remaining customers. Costs had to rise to compensate for the loss of custom which in turn lost more custom.

A re-invigorated crypto-temperance movement has taken full advantage by de-normalising drinkers as alcoholics, binge drinkers, health risks etc and demanding more and more increases in tax/revenue. They are winning!

The pub trade is caught in a downward spiral and this has happened in just about every country where smoking bans are forced upon the people. Thousands of good pubs have been forced to closed since, along with tens of thousands of jobs lost.

I would have thought there would be a base line of closures where the remaining customers could go for the occasional pint and meal, but this baseline appears to be much lower than I thought. A once popular pastime will soon only be available to the well-off - and they were never really interested before.

I miss the pub but that's 'progress' as the 'progressives' say!
I have not voted because, as someone has already stated, the main reason has been omitted - Smoking ban! This is 'head in sand' stuff! Yes it is expensive now to go to the pub Why, because in 2007 the smoking ban effectively barred smokers - so they stopped going or went less as did many of their non-smoking friends. The convivial pub atmosphere was lost in the process, alienating even more of the remaining customers. Costs had to rise to compensate for the loss of custom which in turn lost more custom. A re-invigorated crypto-temperance movement has taken full advantage by de-normalising drinkers as alcoholics, binge drinkers, health risks etc and demanding more and more increases in tax/revenue. They are winning! The pub trade is caught in a downward spiral and this has happened in just about every country where smoking bans are forced upon the people. Thousands of good pubs have been forced to closed since, along with tens of thousands of jobs lost. I would have thought there would be a base line of closures where the remaining customers could go for the occasional pint and meal, but this baseline appears to be much lower than I thought. A once popular pastime will soon only be available to the well-off - and they were never really interested before. I miss the pub but that's 'progress' as the 'progressives' say! CharlesIIX
  • Score: 0

4:50pm Mon 22 Oct 12

On the inside says...

George4th wrote:
I suspect that with equality working the way it does in the modern world, it probably keeps a lots of men at home these days!
You're an idiot.
[quote][p][bold]George4th[/bold] wrote: I suspect that with equality working the way it does in the modern world, it probably keeps a lots of men at home these days![/p][/quote]You're an idiot. On the inside
  • Score: 0

5:03pm Mon 22 Oct 12

freefinker says...

Shoong wrote:
What's more annoying is that further up north you go the cheaper a pint gets!
.. not my experience.
It's more expensive in Winchester than Southampton.
.. but then I don't often venture north of the Chillworth roundabout - far too grim.
[quote][p][bold]Shoong[/bold] wrote: What's more annoying is that further up north you go the cheaper a pint gets![/p][/quote].. not my experience. It's more expensive in Winchester than Southampton. .. but then I don't often venture north of the Chillworth roundabout - far too grim. freefinker
  • Score: 0

6:04pm Mon 22 Oct 12

George4th says...

On the inside wrote:
George4th wrote:
I suspect that with equality working the way it does in the modern world, it probably keeps a lots of men at home these days!
You're an idiot.
Thank you for the compliment though one wonders why you would reply to an idiot...............
.......
[quote][p][bold]On the inside[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]George4th[/bold] wrote: I suspect that with equality working the way it does in the modern world, it probably keeps a lots of men at home these days![/p][/quote]You're an idiot.[/p][/quote]Thank you for the compliment though one wonders why you would reply to an idiot............... ....... George4th
  • Score: 0

9:09pm Mon 22 Oct 12

sass says...

He didn't. He is just alerting the rest of us.
He didn't. He is just alerting the rest of us. sass
  • Score: 0

9:30pm Mon 22 Oct 12

Bowmore says...

I used to go to the pub a couple of nights a week. However for the last couple of years I have gone very infrequently. I'm not sure exactly why. It's not the cost and I don't drink very much at home, besides you can't get a really good pint of real ale at home.
I think it's more to do with the general ambiance in most pubs. It's rare to find a pub where you can have a quite drink read the paper or sit at the bar and discuss what's wrong with the world on how it might be put right.

A really good landlord can make a huge difference in attracting a regular group of customers.
I used to go to the pub a couple of nights a week. However for the last couple of years I have gone very infrequently. I'm not sure exactly why. It's not the cost and I don't drink very much at home, besides you can't get a really good pint of real ale at home. I think it's more to do with the general ambiance in most pubs. It's rare to find a pub where you can have a quite drink read the paper or sit at the bar and discuss what's wrong with the world on how it might be put right. A really good landlord can make a huge difference in attracting a regular group of customers. Bowmore
  • Score: 0

10:18pm Mon 22 Oct 12

Huffter says...

marma495 wrote:
The poll is irrelevant as it does,nt cover all the options. My answer would have been, I used to go to go regularly to the pub before the ridiculous smoking ban came in. Why on earth have a poll if the main reason for the decline in the pub trade is completely ignored? Smoke and mirrors
Certainly doesn't cover all the options - I'm a recovering alcoholic and don't go to pubs at all now... but I've done my share in the past!
[quote][p][bold]marma495[/bold] wrote: The poll is irrelevant as it does,nt cover all the options. My answer would have been, I used to go to go regularly to the pub before the ridiculous smoking ban came in. Why on earth have a poll if the main reason for the decline in the pub trade is completely ignored? Smoke and mirrors[/p][/quote]Certainly doesn't cover all the options - I'm a recovering alcoholic and don't go to pubs at all now... but I've done my share in the past! Huffter
  • Score: 0

11:25pm Mon 22 Oct 12

Here, There says...

Bowmore wrote:
I used to go to the pub a couple of nights a week. However for the last couple of years I have gone very infrequently. I'm not sure exactly why. It's not the cost and I don't drink very much at home, besides you can't get a really good pint of real ale at home.
I think it's more to do with the general ambiance in most pubs. It's rare to find a pub where you can have a quite drink read the paper or sit at the bar and discuss what's wrong with the world on how it might be put right.

A really good landlord can make a huge difference in attracting a regular group of customers.
The answer is in your statement "last couple of years I have gone infrequently" any Pub would need a huge volume of infrequent visitors to survive.."you cant get a really good pint of real ale" unfortunately real ale has a limited sale by date so commercially you would refer to sale to demand substantiated by "Real Ales" being sold in bottle form...you then go on to quote "ambiance" you want a busy quiet pub...an oxymoron no ?...and somwhere where your and a limited few opinions can be expressed.....conver
sely a really good customer base can make a huge difference to a Pub
[quote][p][bold]Bowmore[/bold] wrote: I used to go to the pub a couple of nights a week. However for the last couple of years I have gone very infrequently. I'm not sure exactly why. It's not the cost and I don't drink very much at home, besides you can't get a really good pint of real ale at home. I think it's more to do with the general ambiance in most pubs. It's rare to find a pub where you can have a quite drink read the paper or sit at the bar and discuss what's wrong with the world on how it might be put right. A really good landlord can make a huge difference in attracting a regular group of customers.[/p][/quote]The answer is in your statement "last couple of years I have gone infrequently" any Pub would need a huge volume of infrequent visitors to survive.."you cant get a really good pint of real ale" unfortunately real ale has a limited sale by date so commercially you would refer to sale to demand substantiated by "Real Ales" being sold in bottle form...you then go on to quote "ambiance" you want a busy quiet pub...an oxymoron no ?...and somwhere where your and a limited few opinions can be expressed.....conver sely a really good customer base can make a huge difference to a Pub Here, There
  • Score: 0

8:32am Tue 23 Oct 12

boxing_nut says...

There are good, busy pubs still out there, half the pubs mentioned in the article and many of the pubs shutting down are/were sh1t holes and how they stayed in business for so long is beyond me. The only problem with them closing is the chances of the chavs finding and ruining the good pubs that are left!
There are good, busy pubs still out there, half the pubs mentioned in the article and many of the pubs shutting down are/were sh1t holes and how they stayed in business for so long is beyond me. The only problem with them closing is the chances of the chavs finding and ruining the good pubs that are left! boxing_nut
  • Score: 0

10:27am Tue 23 Oct 12

Shoong says...

freefinker wrote:
Shoong wrote:
What's more annoying is that further up north you go the cheaper a pint gets!
.. not my experience.
It's more expensive in Winchester than Southampton.
.. but then I don't often venture north of the Chillworth roundabout - far too grim.
Living in Winchester (but feel equally at home in Southampton), last year I was in Newcastle for a stag party, £2.50 a pint!
[quote][p][bold]freefinker[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Shoong[/bold] wrote: What's more annoying is that further up north you go the cheaper a pint gets![/p][/quote].. not my experience. It's more expensive in Winchester than Southampton. .. but then I don't often venture north of the Chillworth roundabout - far too grim.[/p][/quote]Living in Winchester (but feel equally at home in Southampton), last year I was in Newcastle for a stag party, £2.50 a pint! Shoong
  • Score: 0

11:00am Tue 23 Oct 12

kingnotail says...

Shoong wrote:
What's more annoying is that further up north you go the cheaper a pint gets!
The pubs are much better too. You could probably count the number of decent pubs in Southampton on one hand!
[quote][p][bold]Shoong[/bold] wrote: What's more annoying is that further up north you go the cheaper a pint gets![/p][/quote]The pubs are much better too. You could probably count the number of decent pubs in Southampton on one hand! kingnotail
  • Score: 0

11:01am Tue 23 Oct 12

kingnotail says...

No wonder - I've had cheaper pints in London!
No wonder - I've had cheaper pints in London! kingnotail
  • Score: 0

5:51pm Mon 29 Oct 12

My boy says...

Only 80p In Southampton!!!
Only 80p In Southampton!!! My boy
  • Score: 0

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