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15 April 2024

The Leisure Revolution 

The “competitive socialising” industry is cementing itself as a major player within the leisure market. Sustained demand for innovative ways to socialise has led to the continuous emergence of escape rooms, mini golf and more across the country. This isn’t the latest fad, the industry has seen both rapid growth and rapid demand for a number of years, all while traditional socialising spots struggle.  

Challenging Tradition 

Bars and nightclubs are traditionally socialising hotspots, particularly for younger generations. However, there has been a notable shift within the market with COVID accelerating this. In February this year, we saw Rekom (the UK’s largest nightclub operator) going into administration, citing lower student spending and the cost of living as a major factor. This may not be the full story; with research showing 33% of 18-24 year olds also saying they are teetotal.* 

Where are the customers going? 

31% of the UK’s nightclubs have closed since COVID.† This starkly contrasts the latest figures from the competitive socialising industry. 64% of 18-24 year olds have played a social entertainment game in the past month.* The number of competitive socialising venues has risen 38% since 2018.* It’s clear the industry is here to stay and for those businesses already active, it’s a gold rush. Do you have a clear growth plan in place? 

Maximising growth or time to pivot? 

Whether you’re a growing business in the competitive socialising space or a more traditional socialising business, there is an opportunity for both. Between 2018 and 2023 there has been a 455% growth in combo attractions. ‡ Late-night bars and nightclubs can adapt and combat the tide of falling visitors by reinventing themselves as places to eat, drink and compete against others. Existing competitive socialising businesses must ensure their share of voice matches up to their aspirations. There are a lot of businesses clamouring for space, so don’t miss out. 

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