Guv'nor: Work harder to keep students spending

By Lee Price

- Last updated on GMT

Price: Declining student consumption means need to stay in tune with changing habits
Price: Declining student consumption means need to stay in tune with changing habits

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Students in Aberystwyth do like to be beside the seaside, but the cost of education has led to a fall in numbers, and brought about a more conservative approach to spending.

Behind living expenses, and travel fares home to ransack the fridge, visits to bars, clubs, and pubs is currently the next most popular pursuit. However, failing to adapt to a disposable income that is shrinking in size will inevitably see such activity slip into fourth place behind shopping for bargain-bin supermarket booze./p>

The fact it is our nightclub’s dance floor that is jam-packed on student-friendly nights nowadays, and not the areas in front of its low-priced bars, serves as proof that preloading is still commonplace.

Since the estimated student spend on watering holes is around £12 a week, the challenge is to be affordable without being so cheap it calls the licensing department’s firing squad into action.
Changes in marketing and technology are the most significant I have seen, and a reliance on everything internet means it is imperative to appear in the online identities of those who bear the heavy burden of constantly needing to be seen having a good time.

Interacting with today’s student requires great effort due to the many different platforms of communication at hand. But because social media accounts for much of their leisure time, it is crucial to be in their pockets, and part of plans for the weekly night out.

Heightened academic workloads and the cold sweat of debt mean that Einstein’s experience is becoming a little more dignified. Present day students are unwilling to burn the candle at both ends, and terrible tales of Ibiza-esque intoxication are few and far between.

The food and beer matching movement has encouraged more bookworms to favour a traditional pub experience instead of a drunken crawl. Where quantity was once the driving force behind a student splurge, quality and diversity are now the key factors for cash-strapped scholars, of whom a third today are completely tee-total.

Despite evidence that the undergraduate’s relationship with alcohol is changing, it is likely to remain part of the overall academic adventure, and with an ability to make that ordinary night out a little more amusing.

Nevertheless, declining student consumption will make it more important than ever before to stay in tune with changing habits, establish an all-inclusive offering, and create the kind of entertainment that fuels the fear of missing out.

Lee Price is manager of the Royal Pier in Aberystwyth and current BII Licensee of the Year

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