Younger people are cutting back how often they go on nights out after being hit particularly hard by the rising cost of living, the UK’s biggest nightclub operator has warned.
Peter Marks, chairman at Rekom UK, which runs Atik and Pryzm nightclubs, said he is “desperately concerned” about how this is particularly affecting current students, who are out socialising less regularly than previous groups.
More than a third of Britons say they have reduced the amount of times they go on a night out since last Autumn, according to Rekom’s latest Night Index research.
Surveyed Britons blamed the general rise in the cost of living, a need to save spare disposable income, and higher rent for reducing their nightlife socialising.
Mr Marks told the PA news agency that young Britons are still willing to spend similar amounts of money when they go out to bars and clubs but are now venturing out less regularly.
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The chairman said: “We have people enjoying similar nights out but going less often because they have had to take a second look at their budgets.
He added: “You have to feel sorry in particular for students.
“Having had their studies disrupted by Covid-19, a return to normality should be what they were looking forward to.
“To then face a cost-of-living crisis and huge inflationary pressures when it’s ‘their time’ as young adults, is a real kick in the teeth.”
The data revealed that the average total spend on a night out decreased marginally to £74.78 per night, compared with £74.91 in March this year, with customers barely cutting back on their spending once in venues.
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Mr Marks said the group, which runs 46 clubs and bars across the UK, has seen spending continue to remain stronger among older partygoers.
As a result, he said the company has diversified by seeking to open more bars in recent months to target older, as well as younger, customers.
“We have been working to grow our bars business more because it has been clear that there is strength in having some diversification across different markets,” he told PA.
“Many older customers have savings which have protected them slightly better from the crisis.
“But I think it’s also important to stress how important our industry is to young people, their ability to meet one another and socialise, and we really need to ensure that remains strong in the UK.”
Russell Quelch, executive director of Rekom UK, said: “The late-night sector must adapt and evolve as a result of these changing behaviours.
“There are definitely opportunities out there – it’s all about having the right strategy and proposition at the right time and engaging with the market.
“These factors are even more important during tough economic times where disposable income is lower than ever before.”
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