Late-night socialising down as costs soar

As the cost-of-living crisis takes hold, 88.5% of Britons will change or have already changed their socialising habits around late nights out to save money.

The most recent Rekom Night Index – a quarterly report for the late-night leisure industry – showed 35% of respondents said they would ‘significantly reduce’ how frequently they go out.

However, the report also showed that spend per head has grown by 16.5% over the last three months, with nightclubs proving to be particularly popular among younger age groups.

The average total-night-out spend is now higher at £73.36 (US$83.30), compared with £68.03  (US$76.83)in March 2022.

Peter Marks, chairman of Rekom UK, said: “Clearly people are starting to consider the impact the cost-of-living crisis will have on their social lives and are putting budgets in place when planning a night out. However, I have confidence in the fact that while financial behaviours are changing, social habits are not.”

Those aged between 18 and 24 years old are adjusting their socialising budgets by focusing on how they prepare for a night out, the survey showed.

Of those who were questioned, 43.4% said they would pre-drink at home more, while 38.2% said they would buy cheaper drinks to have at home. Almost a third (29.4%) said they would cut down on clothes shopping, and hair and beauty treatments before a night out.

The UK night-time economy was worth £112.8 billion (US$127bn) in 2019, accounting for 5.1% of GDP (gross domestic product) and 1.95 million jobs.

Marks added: “We know that as a nightclub business, we will remain resilient if we continue to prioritise well-invested propositions that are good value and relevant to our target audience. Because of this, our nightclubs continue to see a strong surge in attendance.

“This survey acts as an important reminder to all in the hospitality trade that we should prepare for consumer habits to change somewhat. It’s natural against the backdrop of a looming recession that people will choose to cut costs, but we must remember that people will always want to prioritise socialising with friends and come together to enjoy fun, shared experiences.

“If we continue to foster that clear enthusiasm for a night out, we will evolve and become stronger for it.”

In the September 2022 issue of The Spirits Business magazine, we explored how nightclubs in party destinations such as Ibiza and Mykonos are performing post-pandemic.

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Author: Melita Kiely