UK strip club chains go nationwide

The table dance boom in the UK has seen club numbers rise from less than 30 in 2000 to nearly 300 in 2007. While chains with several clubs already existed by 2002 for various reason’s this trend stopped for a time. The last year or so has however seen several chains expanding rapidly both by opening new clubs and acquiring existing ones and groups are once again spreading geographically.

The most famous chain is probably still US based Spearmint Rhino which expanded rapidly in the early part of the decade peaking at 8 clubs in 2002. Various problems after 2002 saw 2 of these clubs sold or closed and no new openings for over 3 years but 2006 saw the chain acquiring the former Truffle club in Glasgow and then the opening a brand new club in Norwich. The opening of another brand new club in Brighton in September will bring the chain back up to 9 clubs.

In the early days Spearmint’s biggest rival was For Your Eyes Only which opened the UK’s first club in Park Royal in 1995 and by 2002 had a chain of 5 with 2 in London,1 in Bournemouth and the only clubs in Southampton and Newcastle. Problems with the parent pub group SFI Plc saw 3 of these clubs sold off but by 2006 the new owners were committed to expansion and the chain currently operates 6 clubs with further ones already announced in Brighton and in the city of London scheduled to open before the New Year.

The chain Secrets opened it’s first club in Hammersmith London in 1997 and grew steadily in the capital until opening it’s 5th club near St Katherine’s Dock in 2004. There was then a hiatus but 2007 has seen the announcement of a 6th London club {location still unknown} and there are strong rumours that the chain is also looking to open or acquire a club in Birmingham.

The group that has grown the quickest of late though is Yorkshire based Wildcats owned by the youthful Matt Haycox which only opened it’s first club in Wakefield in 2004 but in August 2007 opened it’s 7th in the centre of Leeds and has just announced that the 8th will be the former Spearmint Extreeme in Birmingham. Birmingham will be the 2nd club the group has acquired off Spearmint and it has also acquired and converted other clubs in Bristol and Blackpool as well as opening brand new ones in Huddersfield, Barnsley, and Leeds.

Another Yorkshire based company is the Hull based Adult Entertainment Group which opened it’s first club Blue Leopard in Leeds in 2002 and currently has 5 clubs { 4 in different formats in Leeds plus Liverpool} with a 6th club set to open in Manchester in the Autumn. AEG has so far only opened new clubs but is known to be looking at acquiring existing clubs across the UK.

There are a number of chains with 2 or 3 clubs in the UK now but the newest and possibly most significant arrival is US giant DeJaVu. The group has just acquired the former FYEO Croydon to convert into a Larry Flynt’s Hustler club like the one in Paris. The group are strongly rumoured to be looking to acquire a central London venue and if successful it will no doubt want to expand it’s venues across the UK. DeJaVu are larger than Spearmint in the US and likely to grow very fast if committed.


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Author: Saxon is covering the European Striptease industry with monthly updates on or famous London Gossip, Interviews with industry people, articles and news from the world of striptease. We also offer a Striptalk forum, Industry Directory with Stripclubs and Agents and a Job board for the Striptease industry in Europe.