Weekends never used to be complete without a trip to one or two nightclubs before emerging in the dawn of a Sunday morning. 

But for millions of potential partiers, this option is rapidly disappearing as new figures show that in the past decade the number of UK nightclubs has effectively halved. 

In 2013, the UK had 1,700 nightclubs. In June 2023, this figure had shrunk to 873. 

Additionally, the revenue for these nightclubs that continue to operate declined 21% from £1.8 billion in 2010 to £1.49 billion in 2015. 

This declined 16% further until they were collectively taking £982 million by 2020.

This supports the wider trend for all beverage serving establishments when we look at the number of insolvencies in the sector in the past five years. 

YearNo. of Insolvencies 

Up to the end of June*

Looking at the insolvency figures we can see that in 2022 there were 512 insolvencies in which there was an increase of 83% from the previous year and was also the third consecutive year these company insolvencies have increased.

If we compare the number of insolvencies in the first six months of 2022 (232) to the number of insolvencies in the first 6 months of 2023 we can see that there has already been a 173% increase. 

In the last seven years, the value of the UK nightclub scene has been wiped out by an estimated £250 million, as the enthusiasm for clubbing diminishes.

But why has the market for them collapsed? What are Brits doing with their time instead of clubbing the night away?

  • Changes in drinking habits 

Post-pandemic life has caused a drastic change in the UK’s famous drinking culture. 

According to the charity Drinkaware, following the surge of alcohol consumption during the lockdown, there has been a general decline in drinking with no alcohol being consumed on 29% of all pub & club visits. 

This is particularly on the rise within the younger generations, with the 18 to 24-year-old cohort being the least likely to drink and 26% of that age group being fully teetotal already.  

  • Digital Entertainment 

The rise of digital entertainment options has provided alternative forms of entertainment that can be enjoyed without leaving your home including streaming services, online gaming, social media.

Only 93% of all UK households do not have access to the internet and over 19 million out of an estimated 28.2 million households in the UK had access to SVOD services in the beginning of 2023. 

  • Less disposable income 

Following the cost of living crisis many people cannot justify spending the remaining money they have on cover charges, high cost of drinks and transportation costs which all add up following late night partying. 

Chris Horner, insolvency director with BusinessRescueExpert, said: “We’ve recently reported about the awful pressures the pub industry is facing and for nightclubs – their traditional partners on a Saturday night out –  it looks even worse. 

“The entire hospitality sector is taking a beating but nightclubs especially are an intrinsic part of the hospitality and entertainment industry. 

“Not only themselves but supporting and symbiotic industries such as takeaways, taxis, smaller pubs and bars that people stop off on their way to the club – all are affected by closures the same way a construction company would be by their main supplier going into liquidation.

“The culmination of pandemic debt including bounce back loans, growing energy bills, workforce challenges, supply chain issues, increased insurance premiums, landlord pressures and product cost increases have created a perfect storm.

“What’s happening with nightclubs might be indicative of a wider change in society and customer behaviour but if you’re running a business you can’t afford to take a sociological perspective on things – you have to act and do it while there is still time to effect improvements and changes.”

Change is inevitable and can seem daunting but can ultimately be transformative and beneficial.

Just ask a butterfly. 

but change works best when it’s done with a sense of agency – not when it is forced upon a person or a business because they are out of options. 

We offer a free initial consultation to any business owner or director that wants to change their business for the better or can sense change coming whether they like it or not and wants to make sure they can withstand it. 

Once our advisors have an understanding of the unique situation facing the firm then they will be able to run through the various options available to them – often with more scope than they originally thought they might enjoy. 

But this is only if they get in touch early enough in the process. If they leave it too late then they could be subject to irresistible change without much scope to adapt to it or take advantage. 

So don’t leave things to chance – get in touch today.