Industry News

Przym boss puts nightclub closures down to lack of students

Featured Image: Photo by Antoine J. on Unsplash

Peter Marks, chairman of Rekom which owns nightclub chains Pryzm and Atik, has blamed the cost-of-living crisis for students pre-drinking and not going out mid-week leading to the closure of 17 venues across the United Kingdom.

A total of 500 jobs have also been lost with the closures that Marks ultimately attributes to students having to pay higher rents and all-round expenditure increases.

The affected establishments account for nearly half of Rekom’s 35 venues, with those in Birmingham, Leeds, Nottingham, Windsor, and Wrexham all going under last month.

“The cost of living is singularly the biggest issue that we face. A lot of students who used to be paying, say, £800 ($1,000/€935) a month for their accommodation, have been facing [higher rents of] £1,200 a month,” Marks told the BBC.

“Obviously people still like coming out, [but] if money is tight [they] are coming later, so they’re arriving in our doors later and they’re spending less.”

Marks said the cost-of-living crisis has stripped away weekday nightlife even in big cities such as Leeds which he visited last month.

“I walked around between 7pm and 11pm, and there were no more than 200 people out in the city. Two years before, it would have been really quite busy and buzzing.”

According to research by the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA), 396 clubs have been forced to shut permanently since the first COVID-19 lockdown in March 2020. This represented 31% of the market.

Despite Marks’ claim that students are going out later and spending less was the main cause, experts say that a change of lifestyle among young people could also be the driving factor.

“In recent years, lots of research – some of which predates the cost of living crisis – has suggested that young people are drinking less alcohol,” said Tom Allingham from money advice group Save the Student.

Chloe field from the National Union of Students added: “The cost-of-living crisis means students also don’t have the time to see friends.

“65% of students [according to a recent NUS survey] who work are working more than they did last year. This means that, between full-time study and part-time work, many can’t socialise at all,” she said.

Figures from the NHS state that a third of people under 25 have not drunk alcohol for at least a year while supermarket Tesco says demand for no and low alcohol beer has increased by more than 20%.