The latest Rekom Night Index has revealed that since autumn 2022, more a third (34.9%) of respondents have cut back on the amount of times they go on nights out.
Nearly half (49.6%) of those said this was as a result of increased general living costs, as well as expensive bills (42.8%) and the need to save any spare disposable income (33%).
Rekom UK chairman Peter Marks said: “Our Night Index continues to show that due to the challenging economic situation, young people are going out less and choosing more cost-effective ways of socialising as they look to save any spare cash they can for more pressing financial priorities such as rent or general living bills. This will have a knock-on effect for the whole of the night-time economy.
“You have to feel sorry in particular for students. Having had their studies disrupted by Covid 19, a return to normality should be what they were looking forward to.
“To then face a cost-of-living crisis and huge inflationary pressures when it’s ‘their time’ as young adults, is a real kick in the teeth. For those of us who were students once, we know that socialising and meeting new people is a really important part of going to university."
Going out less
Increased rent came out as a main concern for more than a fifth (21.19%) of those aged 24 to 34.
Pricing remains the most important factor for consumers when deciding whether to go on a night out, and this fact has increased by 6% since the last Rekom Night Index in March 2023.
Other top priorities for people when choosing a venue to go out included cheap or no entry fee (27.8%) and good value drinks (27%).
Rekom fears young people are the most disadvantaged in today’s current climate. The survey revealed that spending time with friends continues to be the most popular reason for going on a night out (61.4%), but with financial pressures being the main obstacle to choosing whether to go out, people’s social lives are taking a hit.
When it comes to personal finances, those aged 18 to 24 were the most concerned about thinking more long-term and prioritising having back up savings (37.7%), versus those aged over 55, who said they hadn’t adjusted their budgets at all in light of the cost-of-living crisis.
What’s more, the report also revealed that full time employees are able to spend more than students (£99.78 compared to £79.01) on an average night out.
Need to adapt
Marks added: “We should take this survey as a warning to sit up and take note of what’s going on – we hope that these findings highlight to all those trading in the industry the importance of remaining flexible in responding to changes in consumer behaviours.
“People are predisposed to come together, have fun and spend time with friends – it’s up to us as an industry to ensure we provide the right environment and adapt our business model to enable that to happen.”
Rekom UK executive director Russell Quelch said the late-night sector must adapt and evolve as a result of the changing behaviours.
He added: “There are definitely opportunities out there – it’s all about having the right strategy and proposition at the right time and engaging with the market. These factors are even more important during tough economic times where disposable income is lower than ever before.”