Deltic chief executive, Peter Marks, has told MCA that he believes the media portrayal of the late-night sector is starting to change, as more positive messages filter through.

He was speaking on the back of the publication of the latest Deltic Night Index, which highlighted the boost to the local economy provided by the sector.

The index showed consumers spend an average £17.56 on getting ready for a night out, excluding pre-drinks, taking in expenditure on everything from new clothes to beauty treatments and gym sessions.

The index, covering February to April, showed a 6.9% rise in spend on nights out, to £59.40 a head, compared to a year ago. Average spend on pre-drinks declined 0.9% year-on-year, while spend on drinks and food in-venue were both up.

The index, based on interviews with 2,300 people, showed that 56.4% have a night out at least once a week, up from 54.5% over the same period last year. The figure increases to 69.3% for 18-30-year-olds. Pubs continue to be the late-night activity where people spend the most money (26.3%), though this switches to clubs (25.5%) among 18-30-year-olds.

The majority of nights out lasted either three to four hours (38.2%) or five to six hours (38.2%), varying only marginally year on year. Nine in ten nights out (90.6%) last three hours or more. There is little difference in this across the age groups.

Going out with a partner has become much more popular. When asked who they go out with usually on a night out, the number of respondents who cited their partner increased by more than 5% since last quarter, to 19.8%.

The proportion of respondents who go out to ‘escape the stresses of day to day life’ rose yet again to 45.5% (February 2018: 43.9%; May 2017: 40.3%).

Marks told: “It really does feel like there has been a shift in the way people see the late night sector and I hope that the Night Index has been a part of that. You can see it in the media but also when I talk to lobbyists, politicians, fund managers.

“That’s why, for this quarter, we really wanted to highlight the connectivity of it all. This is a sector that is feeding into all areas of the community and local economy.”

Marks concluded: “This Deltic Night Index perhaps shows most clearly what I have made it my mission to share: that a town’s late-night activity has a directly positive effect on the economic health of the town or city it’s in. That said, even I was surprised that 83% of those surveyed buy new clothes or accessories in preparation for a night out – a huge proportion. Added to that is the support that consumers give their local hairdressers, beauty salons and shops before the evening starts, at which point they will spend further on tickets, food, drinks and other experiences out of the home.”

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