London is home to some of the most historic and world-famous entertainment venues in the entire world, with thousands of tourists visiting the capital city each year to experience what we have to offer.
Unfortunately, over the last few decades, it has become increasingly difficult for those of us who actually live in London to afford visits to these venues ourselves. Sure, tourists and wealthy folk from the suburbs are able to keep these venues thriving, but for London natives, the costs are simply too high.
With that in mind, many of us have started looking for alternatives, other entertainment options that are just as fun but don’t break the bank.
Usually, these options exist on the internet, where everyone pays the same amount regardless of where they live in the world. The world wide web simply has better options and is often much more value for money.
For example, instead of heading to the cinema, Netflix is available for as little as £5.99 per month.
Meanwhile, online shopping is often significantly cheaper and easier than actually visiting Oxford Street. With every passing day, it seems that online businesses are finding ways to offer entertainment experiences at a cheaper rate than their traditional brick-and-mortar counterparts. So, we think it’s about time London businesses started taking note.
Just How Expensive Is It To Live In London?
“London” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by szeke
According to MSN, London is now the number one city on Earth when it comes to high living costs. This means that, if the numbers taken from a recent Global Living Residential Report recently released by real estate company CBRE are to be believed, the cost of living in London is now far greater than Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore and even New York City.
Cost of living comparison site Expatistan breaks down just how expensive it is to live in London further, estimating that the average monthly rent for a small, furnished studio apartment is as high as £1,738. Meanwhile, Expatistan and CBRE estimate that monthly utilities fall between £122 for that same small apartment, and £132.32 on average, respectively.
As for entertainment and leisure, England’s capital is the most expensive place to visit a cinema, costing on average around £11.95 per trip according to CBRE. The price of a single public transport trip is also highest in London at £2.49 and travelling just 1km in a taxi will set you back £4.48. That’s twice as expensive as travelling the same distance by cab in Miami, Florida. Expatistan also estimates that a simple pub lunch for two is as much as £36, to order a beer with that meal would cost an extra £5.33 and a cocktail is as much as £12.
Yet, despite all of these massive costs, the annual full-time salary for someone living in London is just £32,383. When compared to the second most expensive city in the world right now Paris, where the annual full-time salary is £41,359, the situation we find ourselves in London seems even more dire.
Of their full-time annual wage, Numbeo estimates that Londoners are forced to spend 44.4% on rent per month, 4.8% on utilities, 20.5% on food and 12.2% on transportation. After all the other expenses including eating out and buying clothes, Londoners are left with just 4.6% to spend on leisure activities. Alas, as we said earlier, many Londoners are choosing to spend what little that 4.6% leaves us with online and not in London’s entertainment venues.
Is There Better Value To Be Found Online?
When it comes to online industries that are thriving while their brick-and-mortar counterparts remain stagnant, there are two main contenders.
The first is online shopping, which seems to become more popular with every passing year. In a survey conducted by the Royal Mail back in early 2018, it was revealed that 53% of UK respondents preferred shopping online rather than in store due to prices. Traditional, physical stores didn’t gain the majority in a single one of the survey’s questions, meanwhile, reports of high street stores including Debenhams and M&S being on the ropes were common throughout 2018.
Our second contenders are none other than the iGaming and online bingo industries, which have remained powerful entertainment providers since the late 1990s. While land-based casinos and bingo halls have gone in and out of fashion, their online counterparts have been going strong due to a number of reasons. Firstly, they are far more accessible and offer far more variety, with most sites offering table games, slots, bingo and betting all on a single platform. Secondly, the deals and bonuses on offer are often extremely competitive which is fantastic for players. Online bingo no deposit , bonuses, free spins and welcome packages can be seen all over the iGaming and bingo online industry, and players love it.
Other entertainment sectors that are thriving online include TV, films and even books but from just the two industry examples we discussed, its clear what customers want: simplicity, variety and, above all else, value for money. Would it be all that difficult for London businesses to embrace these desires?
How Can London Businesses Adopt Online Tactics?
Back in May 2018, Jia Wertz of Forbes wrote a fascinating article titled ‘How Brick-And-Mortar Stores Can Compete With E-Commerce Giants’. Within her piece, Wertz explored a number of options that high street stores could use to gain success in this modern world, and we believe that London businesses of all kinds can learn from the article. For instance, they could join their online competitors on the internet, which in turn would attract more customers and allow them to offer better deals. Another option is to offer exclusive rewards for visiting in person, such as significant discounts or vouchers for future visits.
Speaking of exclusive rewards, and because we haven’t forgotten the ridiculous cost of living stats for Londoners, we’d like to pitch the idea of offering discounts specifically to those who live in London. This could be adopted by cinemas, theatres, casinos, bars and all other entertainment venues in London, and would enable the people who actually live in the capital to experience what our city has to offer.
We don’t think for a second that it is easy or cheap to run an entertainment business in London, but if we could find some way to make it easier for the people who live here to enjoy London, we think it’s about time we started to make it happen.