There is a misconception that consumers stop spending completely when the economic outlook deteriorates. They might find ways to save money by trading down to cheaper alternatives, but that doesn’t mean leisure activities grind to a complete halt.
If life is hard, it is nice to have a few little treats and things like going to the cinema or for a few games of bowling are deemed affordable luxuries.
AJ Bell’s Russ Mould said: “That explains why tenpin bowling operator Hollywood Bowl has managed to achieve record revenue for the six months to 31 March. With the cost-of-living crisis still biting, consumers are watching every penny. Equally, the stress of life means it is important to unwind with friends and family and bowling is a fairly cheap way to have some fun without breaking the bank.
“Hollywood Bowl has simplified its food menu, seemingly with the view that it is better to sell a few smaller plates or shared items than nothing at all. At the same time, it has kept its eye on the future and continued to invest in its business, refurbishing sites and making operational efficiencies.
“For example, traditional pin setting systems have historically broken down after approximately 400 games, which has led Hollywood Bowl to replace many of them with pins-on-strings which are much more reliable.
“Having mastered the act of running bowling centres in the UK, the company’s game plan now involves rolling out that business model across Canada while also adding mini golf sites to its homeland territory.”