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Tenpin Bowling - UK - July 2010

This report provides an overview of the tenpin bowling market, investigating the core market factors, strengths and weaknesses, supply structure, consumer dynamics and likely future developments.

  • Following a period of sustained growth of 2-3% per annum, the value of the tenpin bowling market fell by 11% between 2007 and 2009 to just under £250 million. In the first half of 2010 volumes have picked up and spend is ahead of last year, but still lags behind pre-recessionary levels.
  • Corporate group bookings – a high-margin segment with the highest ancillary spend per head – have declined during the recession. Birthday party packages have been least affected.
  • ABs and families with older children are more likely to buy snacks than a hot meal, whereas the lower socio-economic groups and those with children aged 5-9 are more likely to buy a full meal than a snack. Centres could increase food and drink revenues from the most affluent consumers with a more upmarket food and drink proposition.
  • Three in ten consumers would be attracted by more adults-only bowling nights and a quarter of those surveyed think that bowling alleys are currently too child/family-oriented. Four in ten under-35s like the idea of bowling in other leisure venues such as pubs.
  • There is a lack of distinct brand identity, product differentiation and local competition between centres, with four in ten bowlers unable to recall which bowling chains they have been to.
  • Only 4% of those surveyed have visited boutique bowling centres such as All Star Lanes but Mintel’s survey shows a quarter of people would like to see 1950s/1960s-style retro themes and cocktail/wine bar facilities, while a fifth would like to see more upmarket or gourmet food in bowling centres.

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Table of contents

  1. Issues in the Market

      • Main issues
        • Definition
          • Abbreviations
          • Future Opportunities

            • Extending the bowling brand
              • Competitive edge
              • Market in Brief

                • Recession scores a strike
                  • Wide reach but occasional activity
                    • Young family growth prospects
                      • Adults only
                        • Lack of brand identity
                          • Boutique-style innovations popular
                          • Internal Market Environment

                            • Key points
                              • Leisure time squeeze
                                • Figure 1: Working hours and leisure time, 2005-09
                              • Provision of centres remains stable
                                • Figure 2: UK tenpin bowling centres, 2004-10
                                • Figure 3: UK sports facility provision, 2008
                              • Driving test
                                • Figure 4: Levels of car ownership among UK adults, 2005-09
                              • Pump prices rise
                                • Figure 5: Unleaded 95 Octane price per litre (pence) – UK average, June 2009-May 2010
                              • Rising overheads
                                • Figure 6: Price of fuels purchased by non-domestic consumers in the United Kingdom (excluding the Climate Change Levy), 2004-09
                              • Slump in leisure development
                                • Figure 7: Existing retail or leisure developments in the UK, 2003-10
                              • Town centre first
                                • Shopping centre growth
                                  • Weather with you
                                    • Climate trends
                                      • Figure 8: UK average mean temperature, rainfall and sunshine hours, 2000-09
                                    • Safety concerns
                                    • Broader Market Environment

                                      • Key points
                                        • Modest recovery
                                          • Figure 9: GDP quarterly percentage change, Q1 2004-Q1 2010
                                        • Confidence levels remain stuck
                                          • Figure 10: GDP, PDI, consumer expenditure and savings, at constant 2005 prices, 2005-15
                                          • Figure 11: GfK NOP Consumer Confidence Index, July 2009-June 2010
                                        • Jobless rise
                                          • Figure 12: Employment and unemployment, by gender, 2005-15
                                        • Young family potential
                                          • Figure 13: Trends in the age structure of the UK population, by gender, 2005-15
                                        • C2 growth expected
                                          • Figure 14: Forecast adult population trends, by socio-economic group, 2005-15
                                        • Broadband Britain
                                          • Figure 15: Broadband penetration, by demographics, 2004-09
                                      • Competitive Context

                                        • Key points
                                          • Family leisure competitors
                                            • Figure 16: Consumer expenditure on selected leisure activities, 2005-10
                                          • Bowling hit harder
                                          • Strengths and Weaknesses in the Market

                                              • Strengths
                                                • Wide popular base
                                                  • Family and social appeal
                                                    • Well-established leisure anchor
                                                      • Closing the technology gap
                                                        • Boutique growth plans
                                                          • Premium potential
                                                            • Weaknesses
                                                              • Impact of recession
                                                                • Lack of brand identity
                                                                  • Supply pipeline restricted
                                                                    • Occasional activity status
                                                                      • Ancillary product weaknesses
                                                                        • Weather sensitivity/climate change risks
                                                                        • Who’s Innovating?

                                                                          • Key points
                                                                            • Improvement rather than innovation
                                                                              • New developments
                                                                                • New marketing
                                                                                  • Festival bowling
                                                                                  • Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                      • Steady growth interrupted by recession
                                                                                        • Figure 17: The tenpin bowling market, 2005-15
                                                                                      • Gradual recovery on the cards
                                                                                      • Segment Performance

                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                          • Core revenue holds steady whilst ancillary spend drops
                                                                                            • Figure 18: Tenpin bowling expenditure, by segment, 2006-10
                                                                                          • Boutique economics
                                                                                            • Gaming competition
                                                                                              • Family first
                                                                                                • Business bowlers
                                                                                                  • League decline
                                                                                                  • Market Share

                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                      • Fragmented supply
                                                                                                        • Figure 19: Leading tenpin bowling operators, by number of sites and lanes, June 2010
                                                                                                    • Companies and Products

                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                        • Essenden (Tenpin)
                                                                                                          • Figure 20: Essenden plc, key financial data, 2004-09
                                                                                                        • AMF Bowling
                                                                                                          • Figure 21: AMF Bowling Ltd, operating results, 2004-08
                                                                                                        • Mitchells & Butlers (Hollywood Bowl)
                                                                                                          • Bowlplex
                                                                                                            • Figure 22: Bowlplex, operating results, 2004-09
                                                                                                          • NAMCO Operations Europe Ltd
                                                                                                            • Figure 23: NAMCO Operations Europe Ltd, operating results, 2007 and 2008
                                                                                                          • Newbury Leisure Ltd
                                                                                                            • Figure 24: Newbury Leisure Ltd, operating results, 2004-09
                                                                                                          • American Amusements Ltd
                                                                                                            • Figure 25: American Amusements Ltd, operating results, 2007 and 2008
                                                                                                          • All Star Lanes
                                                                                                            • Bloomsbury Lanes/The Lanes Bristol
                                                                                                            • Who Bowls Where?

                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                • Brand confusion
                                                                                                                  • Figure 26: Bowling alley chains visited, April 2010
                                                                                                                • Demographic differences
                                                                                                                • How Often do People Bowl?

                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                    • Occasional treat
                                                                                                                      • Figure 27: Frequency of bowling in the last 12 months, April 2010
                                                                                                                    • Bowling is a broad church
                                                                                                                      • Younger family market success
                                                                                                                        • Lapsed bowlers
                                                                                                                        • How Long Do People Play For?

                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                            • Doubling up the name of the game
                                                                                                                              • Figure 28: Number of games played on last bowling visit, April 2010
                                                                                                                            • Little and often
                                                                                                                              • Boutique bowlers play longer
                                                                                                                              • What Else Do Bowlers Spend Money On?

                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                  • Low take-up of other amusements
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 29: Activities on last bowling visit, April 2010
                                                                                                                                  • Snackers versus diners
                                                                                                                                    • Games only appeal to under-25s
                                                                                                                                      • Bowl, booze and food packages
                                                                                                                                      • How Can Bowling Increase Its Appeal?

                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                          • No kidding
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 30: Features that will make bowling alleys more appealing, April 2010
                                                                                                                                          • Boutique ideas are widely popular…
                                                                                                                                            • …especially with ABC1s and women
                                                                                                                                              • Appeal of other attractions
                                                                                                                                              • Attitudes Towards Bowling

                                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                                  • Social activity
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 31: Attitudes towards bowling, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                  • ABC1s value concerns
                                                                                                                                                    • Captive audience
                                                                                                                                                      • Small-scale bowling demand
                                                                                                                                                        • Solo bowling opportunities
                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Who Bowls Where?

                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 32: Most popular bowling alley chains visited, by demographics, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 33: Next most popular bowling alley chains visited, by demographics, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 34: Bowling alley chains visited, by most popular bowling alley chains visited, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 35: Bowling alley chains visited, by next most popular bowling alley chains visited, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – How Often do People Bowl?

                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 36: Frequency of bowling in the last 12 months, by demographics, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 37: Bowling alley chains visited, by frequency of bowling in the last 12 months, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – How Long Do People Play For?

                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 38: Number of games played on last bowling visit, by demographics, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 39: Number of games played on last bowling visit, by bowling alley chains visited, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 40: Number of games played on last bowling visit, by frequency of bowling in the last 12 months, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – What Else Do Bowlers Spend Money On?

                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 41: Most popular activities on last bowling visit, by demographics, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 42: Next most popular activities on last bowling visit, by demographics, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 43: Activities on last bowling visit, by most popular bowling alley chains visited, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 44: Activities on last bowling visit, by next most popular bowling alley chains visited, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 45: Activities on last bowling visit, by frequency of bowling in the last 12 months, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 46: Activities on last bowling visit, by number of games played on last bowling visit, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 47: Activities on last bowling visit, by most popular activities on last bowling visit, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 48: Activities on last bowling visit, by next most popular activities on last bowling visit, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – How Can Bowling Increase Its Appeal?

                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 49: Most popular features that will make bowling alleys more appealing, by demographics, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 50: Next most popular features that will make bowling alleys more appealing, by demographics, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 51: Other features that will make bowling alleys more appealing, by demographics, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 52: Features that will make bowling alleys more appealing, by most popular bowling alley chains visited, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 53: Features that will make bowling alleys more appealing, by next most popular bowling alley chains visited, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 54: Features that will make bowling alleys more appealing, by frequency of bowling in the last 12 months, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 55: Features that will make bowling alleys more appealing, by number of games played on last bowling visit, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 56: Features that will make bowling alleys more appealing, by most popular activities on last bowling visit, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 57: Features that will make bowling alleys more appealing, by next most popular activities on last bowling visit, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 58: Features that will make bowling alleys more appealing, by most popular features that will make bowling alleys more appealing, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 59: Features that will make bowling alleys more appealing, by next most popular features that will make bowling alleys more appealing, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 60: Features that will make bowling alleys more appealing, by other features that will make bowling alleys more appealing, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Attitudes Towards Bowling

                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 61: Most popular attitudes towards bowling, by demographics, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 62: Next most popular attitudes towards bowling, by demographics, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 63: Other attitudes towards bowling, by demographics, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 64: Attitudes towards bowling, by most popular bowling alley chains visited, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 65: Attitudes towards bowling, by next most popular bowling alley chains visited, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 66: Attitudes towards bowling, by frequency of bowling in the last 12 months, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 67: Attitudes towards bowling, by number of games played on last bowling visit, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 68: Attitudes towards bowling, by most popular activities on last bowling visit, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 69: Attitudes towards bowling, by next most popular activities on last bowling visit, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 70: Attitudes towards bowling, by most popular features that will make bowling alleys more appealing, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 71: Attitudes towards bowling, by next most popular features that will make bowling alleys more appealing, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 72: Attitudes towards bowling, by other features that will make bowling alleys more appealing, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 73: Attitudes towards bowling, by most popular attitudes towards bowling, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 74: Attitudes towards bowling, by next most popular attitudes towards bowling, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 75: Attitudes towards bowling, by other attitudes towards bowling, April 2010

                                                                                                                                                        Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                        • Aldi Stores Ltd (UK & Ireland)
                                                                                                                                                        • All Star Lanes
                                                                                                                                                        • Allied Leisure Plc
                                                                                                                                                        • American Amusements Ltd
                                                                                                                                                        • AMF Bowling Worldwide Inc
                                                                                                                                                        • Asda Group Ltd
                                                                                                                                                        • Automobile Association (AA)
                                                                                                                                                        • Bloomsbury Bowling Lanes
                                                                                                                                                        • Bowlplex
                                                                                                                                                        • British Beer and Pub Association
                                                                                                                                                        • British Sky Broadcasting Group plc (BSkyB)
                                                                                                                                                        • British Tenpin Bowling Association
                                                                                                                                                        • Burger King UK Ltd
                                                                                                                                                        • Business In Sport and Leisure
                                                                                                                                                        • Carbon Trust
                                                                                                                                                        • Co-operative Group
                                                                                                                                                        • Essenden
                                                                                                                                                        • Facebook, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                        • Fitness First Plc
                                                                                                                                                        • Freeview
                                                                                                                                                        • Gambling Commission
                                                                                                                                                        • Georgica PLC
                                                                                                                                                        • Gfk NOP
                                                                                                                                                        • Glastonbury Festivals Ltd
                                                                                                                                                        • Government Actuary's Department (GAD)
                                                                                                                                                        • Hollywood Bowl
                                                                                                                                                        • J. Sainsbury
                                                                                                                                                        • Kantar Media
                                                                                                                                                        • Lawn Tennis Association (LTA)
                                                                                                                                                        • Lidl (UK)
                                                                                                                                                        • Marks & Spencer
                                                                                                                                                        • Marlboro Classics
                                                                                                                                                        • Megabowl Ltd
                                                                                                                                                        • MetroCentre
                                                                                                                                                        • Mitchells & Butlers Plc
                                                                                                                                                        • mmO2 plc
                                                                                                                                                        • Namco Europe Ltd
                                                                                                                                                        • Netto Foodstores Ltd
                                                                                                                                                        • Newbury Leisure Ltd
                                                                                                                                                        • Nintendo UK Entertainment Ltd
                                                                                                                                                        • Number Ten Group
                                                                                                                                                        • Office for National Statistics
                                                                                                                                                        • Orange plc (UK)
                                                                                                                                                        • Pizza Hut
                                                                                                                                                        • Savills Plc
                                                                                                                                                        • T-Mobile (UK) Ltd
                                                                                                                                                        • Tenpin Bowling Proprietors Association of Great Britain
                                                                                                                                                        • Tesco Plc
                                                                                                                                                        • Trafford Centre
                                                                                                                                                        • Virgin Group Ltd.
                                                                                                                                                        • Virgin Media Ltd
                                                                                                                                                        • Virgin Mobile
                                                                                                                                                        • Vodafone Group Plc (UK)
                                                                                                                                                        • Waitrose
                                                                                                                                                        • Wm Morrison Supermarkets
                                                                                                                                                        • YouTube, Inc.

                                                                                                                                                        Tenpin Bowling - UK - July 2010

                                                                                                                                                        £1,995.00 (Excl.Tax)