Big drop in number of nightclubs, study suggests

The impact of Covid, coupled with changing consumer habits, have led to a sharp drop in the popularity of Britain’s nightclubs, according to the report.

The number of nightclubs has almost halved in the past decade – including a 30% fall since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, a new study suggests.

The impacts of Covid and changing consumer habits have led to the sharp drop in the popularity of Britain’s nightclubs, according to the report by research company CGA NIQ.

Its study found that 10 years ago, Britain had around 1,700 nightclubs, but in June this year the total stood at 873.

The report said the sharp decline reflected the impact of long periods of Covid-related closures of nightclubs, which were among the last venues to emerge from trading restrictions, as well as longer term changes in people’s habits.

Karl Chessell, of CGA NIQ, said: “Covid-19 hit nightclubs harder than any other licensed sector, and lockdowns were the final straw for hundreds of venues.

“But our research shows the late-night market isn’t disappearing – it’s just changing. Bars, pubs, competitive socialising venues and other new leisure concepts all now rival nightclubs, giving consumers a greater choice of venues than ever.

“Young adults remain eager for big nights out with their friends, and while clubs are still a part of their mix they are also open to alternatives that deliver memorable social experiences and good value.”

Graeme Smith, managing director of AlixPartners – which helped with the research, added: “This latest data highlights just how severely the night-time industry has been impacted by both the pandemic, changing consumer behaviour and increasing competition in the late night market.

“We’ve seen a recent explosion of experiential bar and restaurant concepts across the industry, and with bars and other venues also now staying open later into the early hours, consumers have a wide array of experiences and options to choose from.”

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