Published on: 19 Mar 2016
What have nightclubs and lemons got in common? The answer may not be that obvious but the common link is the “inflation basket” of the 700 most used goods and services which the Office for National Statistics (ONS) uses to determine price movements for the inflation rate.
This inflation basket dates back nearly 70 years and the ONS currently uses around 180,000 separate price quotations for goods and services within the basket every month to come up with an inflation number for the whole UK economy.
Each year the items within the basket are updated to take account of changes in consumers spending patterns and a dozen or so items are added or dropped from the basket.
This year nightclubs have been removed from the basket as the younger generation are now preferring to do other things rather than go to nightclubs.
In the last 10 years the number of nightclubs in the UK has fallen from over 3,000 to less than 1,750.
In a great illustration of the impact that changes in the PESTEL environmental analysis model can have, there are several reasons for the decline in nightclubs including:
Economic – student grants have been replaced by student loans and as a result the students themselves now have less money to spend on expensive nightclub drinks.
Social – socialising with friends now more and more involves social media. Why meet up in a dark nightclub when you can Snapchat for example? Also, very dark nightclubs will limit the opportunities for photos for your Facebook feed…
Technology – whereas in the past people would often go to nightclubs to meet new people, websites such as the dating site Tinder now make it easier to meet new people without having to go to the trouble of trying to communicate with someone by shouting at the top of your voice in a nightclub which is so dark you can hardly see the person you’re shouting at…
Legal – the smoking ban imposed in recent years has impacted on the number of smokers who go to nightclubs (incidentally, electronic cigarette refills have been added to the basket this year following the increase in popularity of e-cigarettes)
What about lemons? Well Lemons have been added to the basket.
An increase in the popularity of home cooking driven by all of the cooking programmes currently on TV has led to a surge in demand for lemons.
So lemons are in and nightclubs are out.
Other changes include the removal of GPS satnavs for cars (more people are using their smartphones for directions) and the addition of mobile phone covers.
In case you’re interested here are the full details of the basket and how it is compiled.