Image credit: Pim Myten

The UK’s biggest nightclub operator is heading for administration revealing the struggles in the nightlife industry.

Covid hit the nightlife hard. From restaurants and bars to music venues and nightclubs, the shutdown of in-person establishments has made for a long recovery. If Rekom, “Northern Europe’s largest Nightlife Company”, are struggling then you can imagine how hard it is across the board.

Rekom UK, the UK branch of Scandinavian nightclub business Rekom, have called in the administrators thanks to rising costs. Heading into administration, the company seeks to restructure in the hopes of saving as much of the business as possible. It is reported that some venues may close.

Rekom chair, Peter Marks said: “We must go through this restructure to be able to come out stronger for the future. For any venues that may not continue as part of Rekom UK, we will do our best to find new owners and save jobs.”

Last year, Rekom UK were facing challenges due to higher energy bills and poor midweek business as the cost-of-living crisis hit attendance. They also report that the planned increase to the UK minimum wage commencing in April will increase their challenges.

How exactly the administrators plan to reshuffle the business is yet to be heard. Marks said they have to accept “that the group cannot continue in its current structure”, though he adds: “We still have a core of successful club and bar businesses and our Nordic brands, Heidi’s Bier Bar in Birmingham and Cardiff and Proud Mary in Cardiff and Swansea, have outperformed all expectations.”

Overall, the company runs roughly 35 clubs and 12 bars open late in the UK. Rekom UK own the brands Atik and Pryzm. They reported they need to find an extra £2 million wages to meet the increase in minimum wages due for April. This does reveal how much the company has been hiring on the minimum wage.

CEO of the UK’s Night Time Industries Association, Michael Kill sees this as representative of the broad struggles in the industry right now. He told Complete Music Update: “The NTIA is deeply concerned about the potential placement of some businesses within the Rekom Group into administration, adding to the constant stream of closures our industry faces on a daily basis. The nightlife sector is in crisis, and we implore the Chancellor and Prime Minister to recognise the urgent need for support before it’s too late.”

The company went into administration towards the end of 2020 after the impact of the pandemic. It was operating as the Deltic Group before being saved by the Scandinavian nightclub business Rekom.

Kill adds: “The nightlife sector is not only a source of entertainment but also a vital economic driver, supporting countless jobs and businesses. As the industry teeters on the brink, we call on the government to acknowledge the gravity of the situation and implement measures that will ensure its survival.”