According to differing industry reports, night time leisure is at a crossroads. Some reports say it is thriving, whereas others suggest that a rethink is needed to meet new consumer habits.
The conflict arises after the publication of the recent Barclays Corporate Banking Hospitality and Leisure report. It revealed that people were more likely to do non-drinking related leisure activities (like going to the gym), late at night or the early hours.
The report showed that people wanted to partake in their leisure activities in the early hours of the morning, long after most businesses have shut. They also had more leisure time during the day.
According to Barclays, a major contributor to this shift in behaviour was the decline of the standard 9-5 working hours. This also played a part in the blurring of the lines between weekend and midweek.
This report is in direct contradiction with the Deltic report from February, which suggested that although down a little on previous periods, the number of people partaking in traditional night time activities was still very high – 58% of Brits go out at least once a week.
And bars and nightclubs continue to be the biggest late night draw.
The Deltic report also suggests that nearly 4/5 people in the 18-21 age range go out at least once a week. But once again, we can find contradictions in that as Business Insider UK say that gen z don’t see drinking alcohol as cool anymore.
The truth might be that the industry is neither on the rise or in decline. Perhaps it is just ready to adapt.
If we take the findings from both the Deltic and Barclays reports, we can conclude that perhaps while people are still in love with bars and nightclubs, they want other leisure activities included so that drink is not the biggest factor.
The answer to this issue might lie in theme bars and nightclubs. Many nightclubs are taking the opportunity to combine more than one leisure activity in order to appeal to a wider audience and not restrict their popularity to certain times of day.
In recent years we’ve seen ping pong bars, nightclub gyms and virtual golf clubs all popping up around the country. This seems to be in response to a new generation who don’t base their leisure on time or the amount of alcohol they’ve consumed.
What do you think? Do you think the night time leisure industry will have to drop the ‘night time’ phrase from its title? How is your bar or nightclub adapting to new consumer habits?