Sales rise at bars and clubs after start of Night Tube

Leicester Square tube station

London’s bars and clubs have seen sales rise after the start of the Night Tube on London’s Underground, according to data from payment specialist Worldpay.

An analysis of late-night card transaction data found that since the Central and Victoria lines turned 24-hour in August, businesses serviced by the lines have experienced an 18% boost over the past month.

Over 100,000 people used the service during its opening weekend and, as expected, bars and restaurants in central London have benefited. Takings in the City of London area rose over 75% compared to before the launch.

Nearly one-third of late-night spending in the capital was focused within the borough of Westminster, where the Central and Victoria 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 services. Spending around Stratford tube station on the Central Line has jumped by 40%, and the number of transactions processed by Worldpay in Walthamstow on the Victoria Line has more than doubled since the launch.

Spending growth in areas not immediately served by the Night Tube has been far more modest. In particular, hospitality businesses in Camden will be counting down the days until the launch of the Northern Line late-night service in November having seen takings remain flat over the past month.

Dave Hobday, managing director of Worldpay UK, said: “With news about the demise of London’s nightlife dominating the headlines, we finally have a positive story to tell to the capital’s businesses.

“The initial impact of the Night Tube on the capital’s late-night economy is encouraging supports the case for further roll-out so that businesses across the city can harness the opportunities that improved infrastructure brings.”

Worldpay’s data also found a 16% increase in late-night spending in grocery and convenience stores along both the Victoria and Central lines during the month following the launch. Grocery giant Tesco has 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 advantage of the opportunity.

Dave added: “The addition of the Northern and Piccadilly lines over the coming months will be welcome news for many bars and restaurants along these routes.

“All small business owners now need to rise to the challenge and take advantage of the infrastructure Transport for London has provided by adapting to cater for the capital’s evolving night-time economy.

“With the Christmas party season around the corner the time has never been better for London businesses to cash in.”

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