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REKOM UK Night Index Report: consumers value social experiences in light of cost of living pressures

Changing social habits

Inflation, instability, and rock-bottom consumer confidence. It is against this grim backdrop that REKOM UK, the UK’s largest late-night bar and club operator, released its quarterly REKOM Night Index Report in mid-October. While the research examined consumers’ late night leisure habits across spend, frequency and duration as it does each quarter, this report more importantly looked into if and how consumers expect to change their socialising habits, budgeting and behaviours in light of the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.

The main takeaway from the report was that nightclubs remain a significant thread to the fabric of our culture and society, particularly among younger generations. Perhaps incredibly, over the past three months, consumer spend on late nights out (defined as a night that spans anytime from 6pm until 6am with the majority of the night from 10pm) was shown to have actually increased by 16% to £73.36. Whatsmore, more than 70% of Brits are going out at least once a week, up from 50% in March 2020.

The impact of macroeconomic uncertainty on disposable income is clear but consumers’ behavioural response to this change is what’s most interesting. Even though an overwhelming majority (88%) of the 2000 respondents surveyed said that they plan to or already go out less due to the impact of the rising cost of living, the data clearly shows that consumers will protect their habits wherever possible by engineering their budgets to prioritise what they feel is the most important aspect of a late night out – spending time with friends and enjoying new and shared experiences. The most popular way of doing this is to pre-drink at home more (38%), buy cheaper drinks to pre-drink (33%), or to cut down on spending in advance of a night out (30%). 

Sector resilience

Financial pressures and consumer budgeting will no doubt be an increasingly important consideration for all businesses across the hospitality sector, particularly as the festive period approaches. Nevertheless, we cannot underestimate the importance consumers place on going out to socialise, particularly following Covid lockdowns and missed milestones during 2020 and 2021. The latest report illustrates that the sector remains resilient in the face of an uncertain macro-economic climate, and whilst trading is tough, it will become clear that opportunities do exist for those operators that have well-invested, good value and relevant propositions. 

REKOM Night Index Report

Read the REKOM Night Index here.

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