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Chain Versus Independent Venues - UK - September 2009

The fiercely competitive leisure market presents challenges for both chain and independent venues and each have their selling points. The guarantee and reassurance that a well-known chain can offer is weighed up against the individuality and authenticity of an independent venue. However, regardless of the type of venue, quality of product and customer friendliness are key factors for consumers when making their choice.

From the trade perspective, chains can provide security, financial weight and the power of the brand, whereas independent operators thrive on their freedom, greater operational flexibility and the ability to cater for their local clientele.

This report considers the question “Do consumers want familiarity or authenticity?” It assesses the current status of the leisure market and how chains and independents are dealing with the impact of the current recession, unravels the pros and cons of both types of operation, identifies current trends and innovations, and outlines future developments.

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Table of contents

  1. Issues in the Market

      • Main issues
        • Definition
          • Abbreviations
          • Future Opportunities

            • Brain game bingo
              • Mintel Inspire
                • Opportunity
                  • Nostalgic nights
                    • Mintel Inspire
                      • Opportunity
                        • The pub’s the hub
                          • Mintel Inspire
                            • Opportunity
                            • Market in Brief

                              • Recession bites...
                                • …but spares some
                                  • The lure of the local...
                                    • Future forward
                                      • Split support
                                        • Masters of their own destiny…
                                          • …versus the power of the brand and security
                                            • Other factors hinder
                                            • Internal Market Environment

                                              • Key points
                                                • Bingo operators deal with new regulation…
                                                  • …and tax hikes
                                                    • The smoking ban
                                                      • Minimum wage increases
                                                        • Power to the workers
                                                          • Utilities continue to soar
                                                            • Cinema – the digital age
                                                              • Cinema holds its own
                                                                • Figure 1: Frequency of cinema going, 2004-08
                                                              • Coffee light
                                                                • Figure 2: Frequency of visiting coffee shops, 2007-08
                                                              • High class coffee
                                                                • A retiring sit in
                                                                  • Bingo on the slide
                                                                    • Figure 3: Participation in bingo (admission charged), 2004-08
                                                                  • Bingo – a female pursuit
                                                                    • Pub visiting in decline
                                                                      • Figure 4: Pub/bar visiting for a drink or a meal in the last 12 months, 2004-08
                                                                    • Men prefer a drink whilst women opt for a meal
                                                                      • Daytime drinking – a class divide
                                                                        • The social element
                                                                          • Offering meals during the day attracts a wider demographic
                                                                            • Premium pub meals
                                                                              • Let’s eat out!
                                                                                • Figure 5: Restaurant visiting in the last 12 months, 2004-08
                                                                              • Affluent diners
                                                                                • Visiting less often
                                                                                  • Figure 6: Frequency of restaurant visiting in the last 12 months, 2004-08
                                                                                • The time and money
                                                                                  • Healthy clubs
                                                                                    • Figure 7: Leisure centre, gym or health club visiting in the last 12 months, 2006-08
                                                                                  • Young and single key users
                                                                                  • Broader Market Environment

                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                      • Keeping an eye on spend
                                                                                        • Figure 8: GDP, PDI, consumer expenditure and savings, at constant 2004 prices, 2004-14
                                                                                      • Rising unemployment
                                                                                        • Figure 9: UK unemployment rates (seasonally adjusted), 2004-08
                                                                                      • Independents boosted by growth in ABs
                                                                                        • Figure 10: Forecast adult population trends, by socio-economic group, 2004-14
                                                                                      • Growth in golden oldies benefits independents
                                                                                        • Figure 11: Trends in the age structure of the UK population, by gender, 2004-14
                                                                                      • Feeling the pinch
                                                                                        • Figure 12: Spending intentions towards the leisure activities in coming year, July 2009
                                                                                    • Strengths and Weaknesses in the Market

                                                                                        • Strengths
                                                                                          • Weaknesses
                                                                                          • Who’s Innovating?

                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                              • Chain adopts an independent feel
                                                                                                • Who needs personal service?
                                                                                                  • iPizza
                                                                                                    • Local going local
                                                                                                      • Gaming out of home
                                                                                                        • Location, location, location
                                                                                                          • Championing the rural independent
                                                                                                            • Taken for a free ride
                                                                                                            • Market Overview and Forecast

                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                • Coffee shops sales slow
                                                                                                                  • Figure 13: Market size and forecast of coffee shops, at current and 2008 prices, 2003-13
                                                                                                                • Is the pub still the place?
                                                                                                                  • Figure 14: Total pub market, 2003-13
                                                                                                                • Independent advantage
                                                                                                                  • Figure 15: UK independent pub market, outlets and turnover, 2004-14
                                                                                                                • Restaurant market continues to grow but at a slower rate
                                                                                                                  • Figure 16: UK eating out market size and forecast, 2004-14
                                                                                                                • Bingo revenues on the slide
                                                                                                                  • Figure 17: Bingo club turnover*, 2004-14
                                                                                                                • Health and fitness clubs: Exclusivity vs expenditure
                                                                                                                  • Figure 18: Membership numbers and revenue of UK health and fitness clubs, 2002-12
                                                                                                                • Cinemas stand strong
                                                                                                                  • Figure 19: UK cinema market, by admission and value*, 2003-13
                                                                                                              • Case Studies

                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                  • Chain venues
                                                                                                                    • Costa Ltd
                                                                                                                        • Figure 20: Costa Ltd, key financials, 2007-08
                                                                                                                      • Odeon
                                                                                                                        • PizzaExpress
                                                                                                                          • Independent venues
                                                                                                                            • Nonna’s
                                                                                                                              • Orion Cinema
                                                                                                                                • Red Roaster
                                                                                                                                • Trade Perspective – Pros and Cons of Being a Chain/Independent Venue

                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                    • What about red tape/bureaucracy?
                                                                                                                                      • Freedom
                                                                                                                                        • Security
                                                                                                                                          • Job satisfaction
                                                                                                                                            • Competition
                                                                                                                                              • Staffing
                                                                                                                                                • Losing touch
                                                                                                                                                  • Brand power
                                                                                                                                                  • Trade Perspective – Key Characteristics of Being a Chain/Independent

                                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                                      • What separates a chain from an independent venue (and vice versa)?
                                                                                                                                                        • What do you think people want when they come to you?
                                                                                                                                                          • What can a chain provide that an independent can’t (and vice versa)?
                                                                                                                                                          • Trade Perspective – The Recession

                                                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                                                              • How would you rate your performance in the current economic climate?
                                                                                                                                                                • Since the recession began, have you changed your fundamental proposition to cater for the downturn in trade?
                                                                                                                                                                • Trade Perspective – Competition

                                                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                    • Do you view yourselves as competing directly with chain/independent venues?
                                                                                                                                                                      • Why do you think people choose you over a competitor?
                                                                                                                                                                        • Do you have your own area of specialisation that sets you apart from your competitors?
                                                                                                                                                                        • Trade Perspective – Customer Perceptions

                                                                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                            • Do you think customers value the security of the brand over a more personal approach?
                                                                                                                                                                              • What about familiarity over authenticity?
                                                                                                                                                                                • Other issues
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Brand power
                                                                                                                                                                                    • A focus on quality
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Consumer Leisure Activities

                                                                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 21: Frequency of leisure activities, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Leisure loving cinema goers
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 22: Most popular regular activities at leisure time, by regular activities at leisure time, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                        • A pint and the match
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 23: Next most popular regular activities at leisure time, by other regular leisure activities, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Location is where it’s at
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 24: Factors influencing the choice of leisure venues visited regularly or occasionally, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Factors Influencing Consumer Choice

                                                                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 25: Statements on choosing a leisure venue to visit, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Good service does it for women
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Young guns stick to what they know...
                                                                                                                                                                                              • ...whilst the wealthy are more adventurous
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Recession bites
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Wealthy shun the corporate profile...
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • ...whilst families go green
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Advertising and endorsements lure the young
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Service sells
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 26: Most popular statements on choosing a leisure venue to visit, by regular leisure activities, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Club service
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 27: Next most popular statements on choosing a leisure venue to visit, by regular leisure activities, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Bingo players buck the trend
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 28: Other statements on choosing a leisure venue to visit, by regular leisure activities, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Choosing Between Chains and Independents

                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 29: Statements on choosing an independent leisure venue or a well-known national or multi-national brand, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Feel good factor drives consumers to go local
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Demand for quality continues
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Chains considered impersonal and uncaring...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • ...and apathy strikes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Demographic divide
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Independent venues score well with those dining out
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 30: Most popular statements on choosing an independent leisure venue or a well-known national or multi-national brand, by regular leisure activities, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Health and fitness favour the chains
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 31: Next most popular statements on choosing an independent leisure venue or a well-known national or multi-national brand, by regular leisure activities, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Price led bingo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 32: Other statements on choosing an independent leisure venue or a well-known national or multi-national brand, by regular leisure activities, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Targeting Opportunities

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 33: Number of regular leisure activities done, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Hedonistic young, free and single
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Social vs solitary
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 34: Regular leisure activities, by number, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Leisure target groups
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Quality Seekers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Local Supporters
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Indies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Not Bothered
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • The pub’s the place for Local Supporters
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 35: Regular leisure activities done, by target groups, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – Internal Market Environment

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 36: Frequency of visiting coffee shops at all, by demographic sub-group, 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 37: Frequency of visiting coffee shops (sit in only), by demographic sub-group, 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 38: Frequency of visiting coffee shops (takeaway only), by demographic sub-group, 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 39: Participation in bingo, by demographic sub-group, 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 40: Pub/bar visiting for a drink or a meal in the last 12 months, by demographic sub-group, 2004-08
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 41: Frequency of visiting pubs/bars for a drink only in the daytime, by demographic sub-group, 2004-08
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 42: Frequency of visiting pubs/bars for a drink only in the evening, by demographic sub-group, 2004-08
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 43: Frequency of visiting pubs/bars for a meal only in the daytime, by demographic sub-group, 2004-08
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 44: Frequency of visiting pubs/bars for a meal only in the evening, by demographic sub-group, 2004-08
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 45: Restaurant visiting in the last 12 months, by demographic sub-group, 2004-08
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 46: Frequency of restaurant visiting in the last 12 months, by demographic sub-group, 2004-08
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 47: Leisure centre, gym or health club visiting in the last 12 months, by demographic sub-group, 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – Consumer Leisure Activities

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 48: Most popular frequency of activities at leisure time (regularly), by demographic sub-group, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 49: Next most popuular frequency of activities at leisure time (regularly), by demographic sub-group, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 50: Other frequency of activities at leisure time (regularly), by demographic sub-group, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 51: Most popular frequency of activities at leisure time (occasionally), by demographic sub-group, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 52: Next most popular frequency of activities at leisure time (occasionally), by demographic sub-group, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 53: Other frequency of activities at leisure time (occasionally), by demographic sub-group, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 54: Most popular frequency of activities at leisure time (not in last year), by demographic sub-group, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 55: Next most popular frequency of activities at leisure time (not in last year), by demographic sub-group, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 56: Other frequency of activities at leisure time (not in last year), by demographic sub-group, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 57: Most popular frequency of activities at leisure time (never), by demographic sub-group, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 58: Next most popular frequency of activities at leisure time (never), by demographic sub-group, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 59: Other frequency of activities at leisure time (never), by demographic sub-group, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – Factors Influencing Consumer Choice

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 60: Most popular statements on choosing a leisure venue to visit, by demographic sub-group, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 61: Next most popular statements on choosing a leisure venue to visit, by demographic sub-group, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 62: Most popular statements on choosing a leisure venue to visit, by occasional activities at leisure time, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 63: Next most popular statements on choosing a leisure venue to visit, by occasional activities at leisure time, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 64: Other statements on choosing a leisure venue to visit, by occasional activities at leisure time, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 65: Most popular statements on choosing a leisure venue to visit, by activities at leisure time – not in last year, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 66: Next most popular statements on choosing a leisure venue to visit, by activities at leisure time – not in last year, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 67: Other statements on choosing a leisure venue to visit, by activities at leisure time – not in last year, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 68: Most popular statements on choosing an independent leisure venue or a well-known national or multi-national brand, by demographic sub-group, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 69: Next most popular statements on choosing an independent leisure venue or a well-known national or multi-national brand, by demographic sub-group, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 70: Most popular statements on choosing an independent leisure venue or a well-known national or multi-national brand, by occasional activities at leisure time, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 71: Next most popular statements on choosing an independent leisure venue or a well-known national or multi-national brand, by occasional activities at leisure time, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 72: Other statements on choosing an independent leisure venue or a well-known national or multi-national brand, by occasional activities at leisure time, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 73: Most popular statements on choosing an independent leisure venue or a well-known national or multi-national brand, by frequency of activities at leisure time – not in last year, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 74: Next most popular statements on choosing an independent leisure venue or a well-known national or multi-national brand, by frequency of activities at leisure time – not in last year, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 75: Other statements on choosing an independent leisure venue or a well-known national or multi-national brand, by frequency of activities at leisure time – not in last year, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – Target Groups

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 76: Repertoire of regular activities at leisure time, by demographic sub-group, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 77: Target groups, by demographic sub-group, July 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 78: Statements on choosing an independent leisure venue or a well-known national or multi-national brand, by target groups, July 2009

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Aldi Stores Ltd (UK & Ireland)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Asda Group Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • British Beer and Pub Association
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • British Hospitality Association
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • British Market Research Bureau (BMRB)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • British Sky Broadcasting Group plc (BSkyB)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Carlton Screen Advertising
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Cinema Advertising Association
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Co-operative Group
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Coffee Republic Plc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Costa
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Facebook, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Fitness First Plc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Gambling Commission
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Government Actuary's Department (GAD)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • J. Sainsbury
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • LA Fitness PLC
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • La Tasca Restaurants Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Lidl (UK)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • LOVEFiLM International Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Marks & Spencer
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • McDonald's Restaurants Limited (UK)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Nintendo UK Entertainment Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Odeon Cinemas
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Office for National Statistics
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Pizza Hut
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • PizzaExpress Limited
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Rainforest Alliance
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Starbucks Coffee Company UK Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Strada
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • T-Mobile (UK) Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Tesco Plc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Tragus Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Twitter, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • UK Film Council
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • United Cinemas International (UK) Limited
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Virgin Mobile
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Vodafone Group Plc (UK)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Waitrose
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Wm Morrison Supermarkets
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Zizzi

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Chain Versus Independent Venues - UK - September 2009

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