Responding to an evolving landscape
Our position as the established ten-pin bowling and competitive socialising market leader in the UK, and now the ten-pin bowling market leader in Canada, enhances our ability to respond to evolving market dynamics. There are a number of market trends and opportunities which are important for the Group.
The ‘competitive socialising market’ evolved due to strong consumer appetite for unique and inclusive experiences, including updated takes on traditional activities such as bowling, mini-golf, table tennis and bingo.
With our active refurbishment programme and the introduction of innovations like our scoring systems, leaderboards and mini-golf concepts, we continue to set the standard for competitive socialising in the UK, enabling us to successfully compete with increased numbers of new entrants attracted to the market.
Numerous retail property landlords and developers are responding to this by looking to expand their leisure offering and create a wider destination customer experience to increase footfall and extend dwell time.
Our strong record of successful partnerships with landlords and our unique customer experiences, mean we are considered key existing and potential new anchor tenants alongside cinema and casual dining operators in the UK. We are also starting to gain good traction with landlords in Canada.
In the UK, the activities of ten-pin bowling and mini-golf enjoy a wide demographic appeal and high level of participation interest when compared to other offerings in the competitive socialising sector.
We continue to work closely with agents and landlords to further strengthen our new centre pipeline which will enable us to accelerate the expansion of our market coverage into prime locations for the Hollywood Bowl brand.
This trend and the associated opportunities accelerated due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent trading and liquidity pressures experienced by many operators in the leisure and hospitality sectors.
The wider leisure market remains highly fragmented with many independent operators in existence. Whilst in the bowling sector there are less than 25 independent centres with more than 16 lanes, we continue to closely monitor wider opportunities of varying scale with our strict high-quality location criteria guiding our evaluations.