Zouk KL keeps the party going amid recession
7 Oct 2009
 
Kuala Lumpur – When Zouk reopened here after undergoing renovations last November , the timing seemed all wrong.
The global economy was in a serious meltdown. Jobs in Malaysia were being cut. If money is tight , the logic goes , the individual will cut out excess like partying first.
Said Zouk KL’s executive director Cher Ng “ We did notice that the big spenders were not ordering as much . That was probably the biggest paradigm shift we saw.”
What did the club do? It bought in more customers, a move that has had some success.
About 8,000 partygoers throng the five-year-old club every week now, up from about 6,000 when the reopened.
During the downturn, the club introduced several measures to attract more business, said Mr Ng. These included advising clubbers on how to get more value out of the club through the Zouk KL Value Guide, which lists membership privileges, ladies’ nights and students discounts.
The club also created other sources of income by branding itself as a versatile venue, hosting product launches and company dinners , and holding comedy night twice a week.
The main driver of Zouk’s current growth, though, was the renovation and relaunch ; said Mr Ng.
That effectively transformed the venue into mini-clubs wit different rooms and themes , each catering to different crowd.
“By doing so, we have managed to get a steady loyal clientele for each room- something that we would not have been able to do previously,” he said.
The club is now looking to expand into others areas, including the food and beverage industry. A few Zouk café-bars are set to open in upscale shopping centres in Kuala Lumpur in the coming months. Does this mean it is easier for clubs to ride an economic downturn? Mr Ng does not think so.
“ There’s a funny way of looking at this – people want to party whether they feel sad pr happy. But as much as I would like to say that clubbing industry is recessed in these times,” he said.
“ We have been fortunate that we made some good decisions at the right time.”

Teo Cheng Wee

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