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Nigerian Night Club Operators Lament Low Patronage As Economic Hardship Bites Harder



As the impact of the high cost of living continues to bite harder, some operators of night clubs are lamenting the drop in patronage.

Some of the operators who spoke in separate interviews with THISDAY, disclosed a drop in the sale of alcoholic drinks and food.

A nightlife connoisseur, Efe Tommy Adabamu, who has worked with quite a number of clubs as PR strategist, consultant and managed some of the biggest nightlife parties across major cities in the country, especially at Lagos premium night clubs, stressed that the economy has affected the business of night clubs, citing the depreciation of the Naira exchange rate as one major reason.

According to him, “I host some of the biggest nightlife parties. I think the economy has really affected the nightlife industry so badly because of the exchange rate as most of the drinks we sell, we bring them in from abroad. So, that has really affected the cost of drinks.


“The prices of drinks have shot up, some three times the price, some twice the price. It has affected so much. But of course, you know this is Lagos, the party must go on.” adding that, “Some clubs that couldn’t withstand the challenge closed. And new clubs opened with even better experiences and new vibes.”

The co-owner of Tommybriggs Lifestyle also debunked claims that night club patronage is mostly exclusive to a particular category of fun seekers.

“That’s not true. The patronage is diverse. You have different kinds of individuals as patrons,” he stressed.

“You have the bank MDs, CEOs of companies, high Net-worth Individuals. They come to the club to celebrate when they close better deals. You have businessmen; you have a mix of patronage; not really exclusive to any particular group or the Yahoo Boys. And you know some of the people that returned from abroad, one of the places they want to go to are the clubs.”

Olaoluwa Williams, who is also a nightclub business consultant who had worked with Cubana, Ikeja and Rumors, Ikeja, said: “Drinks have become way more expensive because they are mostly imported and as such the exchange rate has affected landing cost which in turn means price hike; but we try as much as possible not to raise the price too high.


“We try not to hurt the pockets of our customers, especially those that reside at Lagos Mainland. But in general, purchasing power has reduced.”

Esther Whyte-Bassey, who is fondly known as Queen of Nightlife and the owner of Ecstasy, while speaking on the impact of the high cost of living on night club business said, “It has been terrible; it’s not even easy for me as a club owner, talk less of my consumers. For me, I’m just hoping things get better and the government does something about the economic state of this country because it is affecting everyone.

“Prices of drinks have risen, the cost of diesel is something else, everything has gone through the roof.”

Similarly, the Public Relations Officer at Bayrock Lifestyle, Lekki, Precious Poma, noted that the exchange rate crises triggered a rise in drink prices, thereby eliminating the ability to offer discounts.

“The cost of beverages has skyrocketed, with luxury drink prices climbing and jumping to outrageous prices. As the dollar continues its ascent, suppliers have hiked their costs, leaving us with no alternative. Moreover, we’ve reduced our operational days due to the economic challenges we’re navigating.


“Customers have shown understanding towards the price adjustments, acknowledging the external economic factors at play. While some have expressed concerns about the increased prices, our transparent communication about the challenges has helped build trust.

“The decision to operate on specific days has been met with mixed reactions, but overall, patrons appreciate our efforts to navigate these economic uncertainties while still providing a quality experience.”

Poma also spoke about how as PROs they have had to work on their relationships with loyal customers who love to unwind and ensure their patronage was still very constant.

“I have noticed a shift in spending patterns among our clients. Many are more conscious of their budgets, resulting in a more cautious approach to discretionary spending. Apart from returning customers, I have to make new friends every day and also develop the attitude of inviting them to club with us every weekend.”

Victor Edem John, who works at one of Surulere’s biggest clubs, Jacoin, said:


“It has really affected sales in many ways and the prices of drinks have gone up, the cost of diesel and petrol have really increased so it has made even customers to calculate their pockets before coming out.

“Also we have had to increase our drink prices to meet the cost of operations. Even the birthday parties have not been coming frequently like before since the subsidy was removed.”

Similarly, the Manager, Greenlight Exclusive Hotels, Egbeda, Lagos, Uzoma Mbalari, said: “basically we have been losing customers due to the increase in the price of drinks. We cannot sell below cost price because we need to make profit to take care of diesel, electricity, gas costs. The increase in the price of petrol and diesel has also affected our ability to supply power for 24-hours. “

Ferdinand Ekechukwu and Tosin Clegg


Source link: Arise News/

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