By Michael Susin

Heineken will invest 39 million pounds ($48.9 million) in its Star Pubs chain this year, to revamp and reopen 62 of its recently closed U.K. pubs.

The brewer on Monday said that the program will create more than 1,000 new jobs as it aims to refresh 612 pubs in its 2,400-strong chain.

The investment will be focused on transforming "tired pubs in suburban areas into premium locals," and will provide different activities like watching sports and dining, Heineken said.

The decision follows a change in consumer behavior stemming from work-from-home trends. People are seeking to save on travel, but are still eager to go out--despite cost-of-living pressures--it added.

"People are looking for maximum value from visits to their local. They want great surroundings and food and drink as well as activities that give them an extra reason to go out, such as sports screenings and entertainment. Creating fantastic locals that can accommodate a range of occasions meets this need and helps pubs fulfil their role as vital third spaces where communities can come together," Star Pubs' Managing Director Lawson Mountstevens said.

Write to Michael Susin at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

05-06-24 0345ET