Club Boycott: Is it Enough to Pressure Businesses to Change?

The boycott of clubs across the nation have taken over the news and social media sites in recent weeks with the intention of preventing the increasing number of spiking cases that have come to light – which now includes being spiked by injection. Social media has been swamped in stories surrounding this issue, how to prevent it, and a movement that involves boycotting clubs, forcing them to take action against the spiking of drinks on their premises. Not only will an experience of nightlife for consumers be affected by this, but the takings and profits for businesses will be hit; this is what society hopes will challenge businesses to make a change. 

Typically, fewer customers means less profit for businesses, which will be the case for most clubs and bars. Focusing on the city of Leeds, two boycotts have occurred so far: one on the 20th October 2021, the other on 27th October 2021. With both being student nights, these dates would have been times when clubs were expecting a high profit because of their cheap entry prices and offers on drinks that attract a higher volume of consumers. Due to the boycotts, one of their busiest nights will instead have become one of their quietest, causing an unforeseen loss in profits. For the movement, this is the desired outcome. For clubs, however, it could be quite damaging, as profit is what allows them to continue to thrive. Unfortunately for the boycott movement, this may only be a short-term fix. Reports from employees suggest that the amount of profit lost on the nights of the boycotts can easily be made back at the weekend by introducing more promotional offers to attract higher volumes of customers and drive the sales up. So although this may urge clubs to make a slight change, it has no certain impact for them in the long-run, meaning the goal of the boycott, unfortunately, may not be achieved. 

Countering this, many clubs have already shown their support by introducing improved policies, such as increasing security measures and searches upon entry, and some clubs have even introduced anti-spiking devices available to purchase at the bar (covers for cups) to prevent as many cases occurring. Pryzm, a well known club in Leeds, even showed their support by closing their student night on Wednesday 27th October, resulting in them attracting less custom due to their lack of deals. From a business perspective, however, this could be seen as a marketing tactic; if they are spreading the message that they are in support of their consumers and not just thinking of their profits, then once the boycotts have stopped, consumers will choose their club over others in the Leeds area. 

In order to achieve the main goal of the movement, and do so to the fullest by actually denting club businesses, consumer boycotts would need to take place more than just on one night of the week for one night alone will not pressure businesses into being at risk of losing profits. Therefore, in some clubs, no measures may be put in place, and in those clubs that have made a change, they may gradually slip back into normal routine, leading to the same amount of spiking to occur, or regretfully even more.

Image credit: MaxPixel