Tube doors

London’s nightlife is booming following the launch of the night tube, according to data from Worldpay. An analysis of card transaction data found that since the Central and Victoria lines turned 24-hour in August, businesses in London have experienced an 18% boost in transaction volume compared to the same period last year.[1]

Over 100,000 people used the service during its opening weekend, and as expected, bars and restaurants in central London are already cashing in on the new service, with takings in the City of London area rising over 75%.

Nearly one-third of late-night spending at bars and restaurants in the capital was focussed within the borough of Westminster, where these two lines intersect, as revellers and workers capitalised on the chance to stay out until the early hours without having an expensive journey home to consider.

Businesses based further out along the tube lines have also benefited from the late-night tube services. Spending around Stratford tube station (Central Line) has jumped by 40%, and the number of transactions processed by Worldpay in Walthamstow (Victoria Line) has more than doubled.

As expected, spending growth in areas not immediately served by the night tube has been far more modest. In particular hospitality businesses in iconic night spot Camden will be counting down the days until the launch of the Northern Line night tube service in November, having seen takings remain flat over the past month.

Commenting on the findings, Dave Hobday, managing director of Worldpay UK said: “With the news dominated by doom-and-gloom headlines about the demise of London’s nightlife, we finally have a positive story to tell to the capital’s businesses. The addition of the Northern and Piccadilly lines over the coming months will be a game-changer for bars and pubs along these routes. And with people no longer having to worry about that late dash for the last tube, we can expect to see a knock-on effect for businesses across the city.”

Bars and pubs aren’t the only ones to benefit from the new 24-hour tube service. Worldpay’s data also found a 16% increase in spending in grocery and convenience stores during the month following the launch. Grocery giant Tesco have already announced plans to extend opening hours at a selection of its London stores with smaller businesses being well positioned to follow suit, to take full advantage of the opportunity that the Night Tube presents.

Hobday added: “TFL has provided the infrastructure, so now it’s up to businesses to rise to the challenge. It is imperative that small business owners adapt to cater for the capital’s evolving night-time economy. And in the run-up to the Christmas Party season, the time is ripe to cash in on the opportunity.”

[1] YoY growth on Friday & Saturday evenings (1am – 4:30am) for the period 01/07/16 – 02/10/16 vs 03/07/15 - 04/10/15