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UK Nightclubs market report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Nightclubs market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry and how fast are its rates of growth? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Covered in this report

For the purpose of this report, Mintel defines nightclubs as establishments where the primary offer is that of dancing to music and where drink and food are offered as ancillary items. In addition, an admission fee is normally, but not always, levied.

Under the Licensing Act 2003, nightclubs in England and Wales must be in possession of an appropriate Premises Licence, allowing the sale by retail of alcohol, the provision of regulated entertainment and the provision of late night refreshment.

The dividing line between nightclubs and late night bars continues to be blurred, with no distinction between these different types of outlet by the licensing authorities or, indeed, the industry itself. All data within this report focuses purely on nightclubs (ie excluding late night bars and pubs whose primary business is the retailing of liquor, rather than the provision of dancing).

Where hybrid concepts are included, ie bar/nightclubs, it is because these have a separate dedicated club section where an admission fee is normally levied for a substantial proportion of users. This report does not include nightclubs that are part of hotels or casinos, nor does it cover lap-dancing clubs.

Where the term ‘core club’ has been used, this refers to a nightclub that focuses purely on drink and dancing, rather than a club or hybrid bar which serves food or has a restaurant area. Entertainment is ‘regulated entertainment’ when it takes place in the presence of a public audience or members and guests of a qualifying club, whether a charge is made or not. Entertainment which takes place in the presence of a private audience is only regulated entertainment when a charge is made with a view to making a profit.

The performance of live music and incidental playing of recorded music is not regarded as regulated entertainment under the 2003 Act, where they are incidental to another activity which is not itself regulated entertainment.

The spontaneous performance of music, singing or dancing does not amount to the provision of regulated entertainment and is not a licensable activity. There are also some exemptions for activities in certain premises, such as churches.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Rebecca McGrath, a leading analyst in the UK sector, her extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

The potential of smartphones within the nightclubs market, in terms of promotion, booking and in-club behaviour, is still underexplored. However, high interest in such features among young club goers suggests the smartphone is set to become a far greater element of nightclub visits in the coming years. Rebecca McGrath
Research Analyst

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Covered in this report
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • Nightclub admissions and revenue continue to decline
              • Figure 1: UK nightclub admissions, 2010-20
              • Figure 2: UK nightclub revenues, 2010-20
            • Companies and brands
              • Deltic announces profit in spite of market decline
                • Figure 3: Leading UK nightclub operators, by number of clubs, April 2016
              • The consumer
                • Only 15% visit a nightclub once a month or more
                  • Figure 4: Nightclub visiting habits, March 2016
                • Many are visiting a bar/pub first
                  • Figure 5: Nightclub behaviour, March 2016
                • Expense is a major issue
                  • Figure 6: Problems with nightclubs, Any rank, March 2016
                • Live music attracts visits
                  • Figure 7: Influencing factors, March 2016
                • Younger clubbers are interested in apps
                  • Figure 8: Attitudes towards nightclubs, March 2016
                • What we think
                • Issues and Insights

                  • Nightclubs need greater differentiation
                    • The facts
                      • The implications
                        • The role of nightclub apps is set to expand
                          • The facts
                            • The implications
                            • The Market – What You Need to Know

                              • Nightclub admissions and revenue continue to decline
                                • Nearly half of nightclubs have closed in 10 years
                                  • Student numbers declining and fees add extra burden
                                    • Consumer financial confidence could give the market a boost
                                      • London’s 24-hour Tube system to increase travel opportunities
                                        • Regulation challenges nightclub industry
                                          • More young teetotallers may cut into key customer base
                                          • Market Size and Forecast

                                            • Nightclub admissions and revenue continue to decline
                                              • Figure 9: UK nightclub admissions, 2010-20
                                              • Figure 10: UK nightclub revenues, 2010-20
                                            • Forecast methodology
                                            • Market Drivers

                                              • Nearly half of nightclubs have closed in the past 10 years
                                                • Student numbers are declining …
                                                  • Figure 11: Trends in the number of students at UK higher education establishments, 2005/06-2014/15
                                                • … and student tuition fees add a further burden
                                                  • Consumer financial confidence could give market a boost
                                                    • Figure 12: Trends in how respondents would describe their financial situation, February 2009-February 2016
                                                  • High competition for leisure time
                                                    • Figure 13: Leisure activity participation in the past 12 months, August 2015
                                                  • London’s 24-hour Tube system increases travel options
                                                    • Greater regulation challenges nightclub industry
                                                      • Young teetotallers may cut into key customer base
                                                      • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                                                        • The Deltic Group announces profits despite market’s problems
                                                          • Deltic looks to mine data
                                                            • Novus Leisure also investing in its estate
                                                              • Secret Cinema launches Secret Nightclub
                                                                • ShowMango indicates potential for ‘Netflix for Nightclubs’
                                                                • Market Share

                                                                  • The Deltic Group announces profits despite the market’s problems
                                                                    • Novus Leisure also investing in its estate
                                                                      • Figure 14: Leading UK nightclub operators, by number of clubs, April 2016
                                                                  • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                    • New Bar & Beyond format revamps Deltic
                                                                      • Deltic looks to mine data
                                                                        • Special event nights put unique experiences at the forefront
                                                                          • Secret Cinema launches Secret Nightclub
                                                                            • UK’s first ‘soft play nightclub’ night launched
                                                                              • ShowMango indicates potential for ‘Netflix for Nightclubs’
                                                                                • Dating app introduced for nightclubs
                                                                                • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                  • Only 8% visit a nightclub around once a fortnight or more
                                                                                    • Four out of 10 visited a least one bar/pub first
                                                                                      • Expense is a major issue
                                                                                        • Musical acts are a powerful attraction
                                                                                          • People find nightclubs too similar
                                                                                            • Apps are appealing to younger clubbers
                                                                                            • Nightclub Visiting Habits

                                                                                              • Only 15% visit a nightclub once a month or more
                                                                                                • Figure 15: Nightclub visiting habits, March 2016
                                                                                              • Age a key influencer on visiting habits
                                                                                                  • Figure 16: Nightclub visiting habits, by age, March 2016
                                                                                              • Nightclub Behaviour

                                                                                                • Four out of 10 visited a least one bar/pub first
                                                                                                  • Figure 17: Nightclub behaviour, March 2016
                                                                                                • Apps can boost spontaneity and booking
                                                                                                  • Younger people are more likely to have drinks at home and arrive later
                                                                                                    • Figure 18: Nightclub behaviour, by age, March 2016
                                                                                                • Problems with Nightclubs

                                                                                                  • Expense is a major issue
                                                                                                    • Accounting for musical taste is a must
                                                                                                      • Figure 19: Problems with nightclubs, Any rank, March 2016
                                                                                                    • Apps can offer reassurance about crowds and queues
                                                                                                      • Men and women have different concerns
                                                                                                        • Figure 20: Problems with nightclubs, any rank, by gender, March 2016
                                                                                                      • Older people are put off by crowds
                                                                                                        • Figure 21: Issues with nightclubs, any rank, by age, March 2016
                                                                                                    • Influencing Factors

                                                                                                      • Musical acts are a big draw
                                                                                                        • Figure 22: Influencing factors, March 2016
                                                                                                      • Younger people want discounts
                                                                                                        • Figure 23: Influencing factors, by age, March 2016
                                                                                                      • People have limited requests
                                                                                                        • Figure 24: Repertoire analysis of influencing factors, March 2016
                                                                                                    • Attitudes towards Nightclubs

                                                                                                      • Over half prefer concerts/festivals
                                                                                                        • People find nightclubs too similar
                                                                                                          • Figure 25: Attitudes towards nightclubs, March 2016
                                                                                                        • Over a third believe nightclubs are a good place to meet a partner/date
                                                                                                          • People need better transport
                                                                                                            • Apps are appealing for younger clubbers
                                                                                                              • A monthly subscription could work
                                                                                                                • Figure 26: Attitudes towards nightclubs, agree with statement, by age, March 2016
                                                                                                            • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                  • Consumer research methodology
                                                                                                                  • Appendix – Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                                                    • Market Forecasts
                                                                                                                      • Figure 27: UK nightclubs revenue, 2010-20
                                                                                                                      • Figure 28: UK nightclubs admissions, 2010-20
                                                                                                                    • Forecast Methodology