Success of Asian Heritage Row (AHR)
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Trends are changing universally. In Malaysia, a lot of the entertainment is chosen for people to spend their leisure time. Now a days, the standard of living and the stress from work and school is much higher than in previous years, so people now need time to relax just to release the stress.
People now a days know how to plan and enjoy their leisure time. There are a lot of ways one can spend their leisure time, they can go to the cinema, traveling or may be reading. Gambling is considered a leisure activity. In this generation, the top most preferred leisure activity by young adults is to go clubbing.
In Malaysia, clubbing is one of the famous night entertainments available for those who are between the ages of 18 to 26. This type of entertainment is mushrooming quickly, especially in the capital city, Kuala Lumpur. However, the clubs in Malaysia are not spread over a big area. They have specific spots for clubbing, so along these streets are filled with night clubs, bars and discos. Jalan Doraisamy, Jalan P Ramlee, Jalan Tun Razak, and Jalan Sultan Ismail are the few street names on which clubs are on a stretch. These places are where you find the people who are fascinated by night life, a lot of foreigners are found along these streets as well.
People visit these places not only because they want to club, but also because they want to relax after a long day or week. Some tourists are curious about the night life in Malaysia. Some tourists don't get to see these places because they come with children, and such places aren't suitable for children. Rush hour is another reason why people would prefer to come to the bar in the evenings during happy hour, just to avoid the traffic.
As time passed, clubs, pubs and night clubs with different themes, music and set ups starting opening around these areas. As a result the competition of the nightclub market became bigger and bigger and this is why many club owners joined the market for a while and before too long they had to close down because the competition is too tight.
However, Asian Heritage Row is a row of clubs that is located on Jalan Doraisamy. The road is full of clubs facing each other. This dissertation will focus more on the factors that contribute to the success of Asian Heritage Row. The title is “The factors influencing the success of Asian Heritage Row”
The dissertation will be divided into 3 parts, the 1st part covers about the entertainment industry, nightlife industry as well as the nightlife scene in Malaysia. The 2nd part covers the Analysis of the clubs in Asian Heritage Row out of which 8 of the managers were interviewed. The 3 rd part will be the recommendation of the research.
The Factors that influence the success of Asian Heritage Row?
Define Success in the content of Asian Heritage Row?
Answer the significance of the factors
In order to achieve these objectives, primary and secondary data will be collected for the methodology. For the primary data qualitative data was used by conducting interviews with 8 of the managers of clubs in Asian Heritage Row. The secondary data was collected from the internet and journal articles. The secondary data is used to back up the statements.
Part 1 Theoretical Framework
According to Wikipedia (2008) the word Entertainment is an activity designed to give pleasure or relaxation to an audience (although in the case of a computer game the "audience" may be only one person). The audience may participate in the entertainment passively as in watching opera or a movie, or actively as in computer games.
Hughes (2000) identified the word ‘entertainment' is used to include a wide variety of activities such as watching television or playing computer games at home, listening to music, visiting cinema, watching sports, visiting theme parks, and going to discos. Furthermore, Hughes (2000) classified types of entertainment as:
1.2 Night life entertainment
According to Wikipedia (2007), nightlife is the collective term for any entertainment that is available and more popular from the late evening into the early hours of the morning. It includes the pubs, night clubs, bars, live music, cabaret, small theatres, small cinemas, shows, and sometimes restaurants a specific area may have (defined here as pubs, bars, cafes, and night clubs). Nightlife entertainment is essentially edgier than daytime amusements and usually more oriented to young adults.
“Studies have shown that the average person will spend three to four hours per weekend in an entertainment environment and will spend an average of 20 to 50 dollars in that timeframe. This trend also shows no signs of declining.” (http://findarticles.com)
The night club business isn't a simple business that can be run by anyone; it is not as simple as selling alcohol or just thinking about the latest trend in youths. It is way much more complex than that. Starting up a night club needs a lot of financial investments. The success of this business depends on what are the company's goals and the things you could do to make the guest happy that ensures they will come back.
“Most people who get into the nightclub industry do it because they want to have a nightclub and enjoy it and it's at night, said co- owner Dalton Alford. They overlook the most important factor, and the reason nightclubs do live is that the office during the day is up and operational. You seldom see it.” (http://findarticles.com)
1.2.1 Different types of Night life entertainment
When most people hear the word night life they think of only a club, while actually there are a few types of clubs. They have different names; some are called Bars while others have different names. These places differ because of the facilities they provide in their establishments. The target market to these establishments differs as well. These are the different types of night life entertainment.
The Wikipedia (2007) describes bar as a business that serves drinks, especially alcoholic beverages such as beer, liquor, and mixed drinks, for consumption on the premises. Bars provide stools or chairs for the patrons along tables or raised counters. Some bars have entertainment on a stage, such as a live band, comedians, go-go dancers, a floor show or strippers. Bars that are part of hotels are sometimes called long bars or hotel lounges
There are as much bars as there are night clubs in Malaysia, these bars usually only serves drinks and light snacks, there are no dance floors. Some of them have live band performance while others have a DJ (Disc Jockey) playing the music. Most of the people who visit these bars are business men from overseas as well as local ones who need a drink after a long day at work.
The word has been shortened to “Disco”. The term refers to a style of music that is influenced by Funk, Soul Music and salsa. The main attraction in a disco is the dance floor. People go there to dance. The songs played are from recorded sources. Live band is also played from time to time. This is played to entertain the customers when the songs are not played from the recorded sources (www.disco-disco.com).
Originally called public house but now known as “pubs”, this drinking establishment was originally found in the United Kingdom and Ireland but now found globally. Pubs used to be located in small English towns.
Pubs are social places for the sale and consumption of mainly alcoholic beverages. Most pubs offer a wide range of beers, wines, spirits and alcoholic beverages. In the 1930s the Anglo French writer Hillarie Belloc penned the following cautionary warning” when you have lost your inns, drown your empty selves, for you will have lost the last of England”
18.104.22.168 Night Clubs
A Nightclub is a drinking, dancing, and usually similar to bars, pubs or taverns, by the inclusion of a dance floor and a DJ booth, where a DJ plays recorded dance and pop music. The music in nightclubs is either live bands or, more commonly a mix of songs played by a DJ through a powerful PA system. Most clubs or club nights cater to certain music genres, such as house music, garage, Hip-Hop, or salsa.
Most of the clubs, bars, and lounges in Malaysia are categorized as night clubs. This is because the clubs have all the criteria that match a night club. Their main customers are young adults commonly known as youths.
1.3 Night Life in Malaysia
Kuala Lumpur being the capital of Malaysia is a developing city with high rise buildings, shopping malls, restaurants, highways and entertainment spots. Out of their entertainment spots, a big portion of them are Night clubs, karaoke bars, pubs, lounges, jazz bars, discos, wine bars, and different types of restaurants. These are all scattered all around the city.
Being a Muslim country, authorities enforce a 3am closure ruling for nightspots in Kuala Lumpur city areas, while clubs and pubs in urban areas in the vicinity of residential estates have to close at 1am. Occasionally, the police will conduct raids on random places to check for illicit drugs, prostitution and other vices of society. However, alcohol is sold freely in Malaysia and the legal drinking age is 21 (as cited in www.kuala-lumpur.ws).
Night life entertainment can be found in a few places in Kuala Lumpur. The clubs, bars and lounges are normally on a stretch along a road. But some of them are scattered elsewhere. The three famous spots that have clubs on a stretch are the Asian Heritage Row, Jalan Sultan Ismail and Bangsar. For pubs and bars are mostly along Hartamas and Bukit Bintang.
1.3.1 Jalan Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur
Jalan Bukit Bintang where the entertainment clubs are there is the road adjacent to Starhill. The KL Plaza has numerous lively cafés, bars and pubs. Starting with the Foxx discotheque at the basement until Planet Hollywood that is situated next to Starhill.
1.3.2 Jalan Sultan Ismail and Jalan P. Ramlee
The beauty of these two roads is that it is the intersection point of club central in Kuala Lumpur. Located just opposite of the Shangri-La. It is one of the best places to go clubbing. The clubs are tidily huddled together with some of the best DJ's performing from week to week. Along this road are not only clubs but there are a few hotels as well. The Concord Hotel and the Equatorial hotel are located there.
1.3.3 Sri Hartamas, Kuala Lumpur
Tucked away in the neighbourhood of Sri Hartamas is an area of business that has blossomed into its nightlife. Ranging from pool, darts, foosball or even wine, you can't miss these places with their terrific décor and relaxing ambience with lovely alfresco areas and comfortable couches. You can even hang out to watch the football premier league at Hartamas Square. SOULed OUT's new address has shifted to Sri Hartamas as well.
1.4 Asian Heritage Row
Asian Heritage Row (AHR) runs along Jalan Doraisamy, which is situated just off Jalan Sultan Ismail, next to the Sheraton Imperial Hotel. It is located in the heart of the city and is growing in popularity as a preferred destination for the young and trendy. Three years ago this area near Kampung Baru wouldn't be such a pleasant site to be seen. Along this road were pre-war houses that were abandoned.
The founder had a mission of turning these old abandoned houses into an entertainment area, whilst maintaining the heritage. That is why the clubs and restaurants in Asian Heritage Row have the design of very old houses. The 80 year old houses have been transformed into a row of elegant and charming restaurants, cafes, bars, and clubs and even have a foot reflexology salon.
In following with the traditions of the city, Asian Heritage Row was developed to encapsulate the city's past, present and future. As with most great cities of the world, which have their unique cultural and leisure districts (e.g. Montmart in Paris, Soho in New York, Lan Kwai Fong in Hong Kong and Clark Quay in Singapore) (www.asianheritagerow.com)
1.4.1 The Night Clubs
22.214.171.124 Wine Room
Wine Room as you can see from its name is a lounge that specializes in wine, the wine room has a capacity of 100 people inside, 50 people outside and standing room for another 50. The atmosphere at the Wine Room is relaxed, and is often crowded with local celebrities. They serve light meals such as cheese platter, pizzas and other finger food that are served with a good selection of wines, champagnes, cigars, liquor and imported beers
126.96.36.199 Heritage Mansion
Heritage Mansion aims to provide a different and refreshing lifestyle space for its customers. Till date, there is no food and beverage entertainment venue which is relaxed and chilled out in atmosphere in the weekdays, while it transform its self into a club by weekends. Heritage Mansion is open to selected group of people, which means not everyone can go there. This place is more for elite members of the society.
Kristao is one of the outlets along Heritage Row and the first restaurant-bar on the street that specializes in Malaccan Portuguese cuisine. It's a very homey two-floor establishment with an attractive selection of wines, liquor, beers and cocktails. Kristao also has the record of having the longest happy hours, from 11:00am to 9.00pm daily with the kitchen staying open till 1 am with seating for up to 100 people.
188.8.131.52 The Rupee Room
The Rupee Room is all about great music and a friendly atmosphere that gives you a touch of Bollywood. This is the only club along the Asian Heritage Row that plays Indian music. The Rupee Room has just opened in the past year. They are a branch from the rupee room in Singapore
184.108.40.206 Bar Blonde
Bar Blonde, one of the earlier bars to open on Asian Heritage Row. It is particularly designed for events big or small. Bar Blonde plays the music from their live band that performs rather than using a DJ. Bar Blonde has a very unique promotion, blondes can get a drink on the house.
220.127.116.11 The Loft Kuala Lumpur
The Loft Kuala Lumpur was established in January 2005. The Loft is a combination of a Fine Dining, Lounging and Clubbing. They have separated all the 3 into 4 different places.
Upstairs Club Lounge
The Upstairs Club Lounge is spread over what used to be 4 shop lots. This part of the Loft is more into clubbing than lounging or dining. The loft has a stage and a catwalk area in the middle which makes it ideal to hold events in.
Mezza Notte is the dining part of The Loft. It is an Italian fine dining restaurant which is equipped with a sushi bar. However the restaurant serves a wide range of wines of the world and cigars as well.
Ye Chine Restaurant serves authentic Chinese cuisine, including dim sum. The restaurant also has a garden indoor dining area, an island bar and a skylight roof.
Cynna House Lounge
Cynna has a lounge on the exterior and a clubbing area in the interior. It has a reputation of the venue for fine clubbing and VIP service.
Palacio means 'Palace' in Latin. Palacio is a restaurant that specializes in French and Spanish cuisine. There are 3 ambiances in the restaurant. You can experience a fine dinner on the 1st floor, chill out in Palacio's cozy tapas bar on the ground floor or enjoy sunshine in the Palacio front garden.
Bed is one of the clubs located on the left hand side of the street; it has 2 areas, the 1st floor and lower floor. The 1st floor plays a different music from the lower floor. They serve a wide array of liquors, wines, champagnes.
Atrium, a club that has a stage for a live band to perform as well. They have different days on which the DJ plays and some days when the live band leads the crowd. They serve food as well as beverages.
1.5 Market Segmentation
The Marketing concept calls for understanding customers and satisfying their needs better than the competition. But different customers have different needs, and it is rarely possible to satisfy all customers by treating them alike (www.netmba.com).
In order to cater to all customer's needs, we need to segment the market into several segments. There are four ways in which you can segment a market:
Geographic segmentation divides the market into different geographical units; they can be neighbourhoods, cities, counties, countries, or world regions such as Europe or South East Asia etc. Such segmentation will seek to identify factors, which should be taken into account in developing appropriate marketing strategies for each area, including Language, Climate, and Lifestyles.
Demographic segmentation divides the market into groups based on demographic variables including age, gender, family size and life cycle.
Psychographic segmentation divides the market into groups based on social class, lifestyle and personality characteristics. It is based on the assumption that the types of products and brands an individual purchases will reflect that persons characteristics and patterns of living.
Behavioural segmentation divides the market into groups based on their knowledge, attitudes, uses and responses to the product. So if a person is a regular visitor to a club they may be segmented into this segment.
1.6 The factors contributing to the success of nightclubs
There are a lot of factors that contribute to the success of a nightclub. Every nightclub has to try and make their own place unique in their own ways. From the articles that are mentioned below, there are some factors that contribute to the success of night clubs.
1.6.1 Promotion and Special Occasions
Promoting the nightlife establishment is something that all club owners do as this lets people know about the club, special occasions are events that is held once in a while in order to attract customers to the club. The article “What savvy club owners do to make their topless clubs successful while others fail miserably” wrote by Jack Corbett said that “…offers the reasonably prices of alcohol to customers starting from 8 pm to 10 pm buckets of beers specials…” this is an example of happy hour. This is a promotion done by majority of clubs all over the world.
“The main idea is to offer a new entertainment experience night after night. This is the key ingredient for success and profitability, as well as longevity, in the nightclub industry” (http://findarticles.com).
Happy Hour is a type of promotion done by a lot of club owners. Happy hour is the hours of the night in which the club offers discounts on a number of drinks. These hours normally vary from country to country and from club to club. In Malaysia happy hour is from 5pm to 9pm. While in Indonesia it is from 5pm to 8pm. In Australia, the happy hour is from 6pm to 8pm. Firstly as those are the hours in which a club has no business, the cheap drink helps the club to attract customers.
Entertainment clubs has to advertise, if they don't advertise there are a very low percentage of them surviving in the business. Clubs should advertise in magazines. This would create awareness in the customers. Jack Corbett mentioned “…Great review to the competitor while mentioning it all in the magazine believing that any kind of news at all is good news”. Magazines normally recommend clubs to their readers; this will make your club one of the clubs that would be recommended to the readers.
1.6.3 Hiring Staff
Staff hiring is essential to any business, a good staff team would create a good working environment and would make the customers happy. Jack Corbett Mentioned “…feature entertainers are the real professionals in the business.”
1.6.4 Environments and menu
Nightclub & Bar Magazine mentioned “…should doing a lot of special effects and theatre things but you never saw before in the clubs.” This means that clubs should have a special features in them in order to get the customers curious about what would it be like inside. This curiosity will get the customers into the club. The clubs should change the look of their club from time to time so as not to bore the customers.
The menu is something that you should change from time to time as well. This is because right now the trend is to fuse everything together. So bartenders are coming with new and unique ways to draw customer's attention to the drinks. One example is the flaming. Flaming is when a drink, such as Sambuca, is set alight. The customer then blows out the flames and shots the drink. Another example is when the martini glass is kept below a Galliano bottle and then the bar tender pours the flaming mixture from the top of the Galliano bottle and customers drink it from the martini glass with the help of a straw.
1.6.5 Music and Disc Jockey
From the 60's to the 70's the most suggested place to listen to music is at a disco. During those times people liked to dance. Now days even everyone dances because of disco music. This statement is from Is Disco Dead “…I love the disco today; dance music is more alive and disco music has more feelings than today's dance tracks” this means that is because of the music now a days that teenagers go to the clubs. They go to listen to the music and dance to the beat. So the music of a club really matters to attract customers. The DJ's job is to control the music. So the DJ playing in the club also is another factor.
1.6.6 Cover Charge and Services
Cover Charge is defined as a fee for entry to an establishment, often it is referred to a bar or a night club. The term “no cover” or “no cover charge” relays that such establishment allows entry at no cost.
From the journals I found on the internet. Tonic Brian Arbuckle, Elissa Ferenbach, Doug Devitre and Frank Lee who did a research regarding clubbing, found that. “…the respondents said they would choose another club if the club charged a cover before entering”, and “…more than seventy percent of the respondents were likely to choose the bar with the lower cover.” This shows that majority of the people like to go to clubs where the cover charge is low. So the cover charge of a club also is another factor that will influence the number of people that comes in the club.
A 1,000-person capacity nightclub will typically accommodate approximately 1,500 people in the five-hour span of operation. A $5 door charge, in addition to a conservative figure of $12.25 collected from each patron in alcohol sales, would generate approximately $30,000 in nightly revenue. (http://findarticles.com)
In every club there must be a server to serve the customers. From the survey taken by Tonic Brian Arbuckle, Elissa Ferenbach, Doug Devitre and Frank Lee found out that “…waitresses do play an important role on how people choose which bar to go to” they play an important role because they are the ones that provide the service.
So the better the service is the more people would want to come to the club. Business men for an example, they prefer for the waitress to come to the table and take the order rather than having to go to the bar to get their drinks. Some servers can also influence the people who choose the bar because of their professionalism. So the service staff play an important role as well.
Part 2 Methods and Findings
One of main areas of the research is the methodology. This is the part where the different methods used to obtain the information as well as the results to the research and the analysis are explained.
The information that is used in this research is primary as well as secondary information. The primary data is obtained from interviews that have been conducted and the secondary data has been gathered from books, journals and websites. However the secondary data is more reliable as it has been verified and published.
Secondary data has been obtained from several different sources such as the internet, newspaper, journals, magazines, college notes etc.
2.1 Research methodology
This section will describe the idea of how data was collected to answer the research questions, methods and techniques used for the data collection and how it was implemented to the research objectives.
The objectives of this study are:
The Factors that influence the success of Asian Heritage Row?
Answer the significance of the factors?
2.1.1 Research Questions
In order for the objectives to be answered, a systematic order of questions is formulated to apply with the objectives.
Objective 1: What are the factors that influence the success of Asian Heritage Row?
Objective 2: how important are the factors that contribute to the success of Asian Heritage Row?
In the research questions, the problematic reasons for this research may be stated. These questions should be answered at the end of the research.
2.1.2 Research Design
According to Rees (1996) & Dingwall et al, (1988), Qualitative research involves broadly stated questions about human experience and reality, studied true sustain contact with people in their natural environment, generating rich, descriptive data that helps us to understand their experience and attitudes.
Rees (1997) emphasizes that rather than presenting the results in the form of statistics, qualitative research produces words in the form of comments and statements. Its aim is to find out people's feelings and experiences from their own point of view rather than from that of the researcher.
Part 1 explained entertainment, because Night life is a form of entertainment. There are two types of entertainment, at home and away from home. Nightlife entertainment is entertainment away from home.
Youths are more likely to choose entertainment that are away from home. This is because young people really like going for nightlife entertainment. The history of the night life entertainment in Malaysia was also explained, which highlighted when the first night life in Malaysia opened. The different types of reasons for a night club to be successful were also explained.
As the topic is about Asian Heritage Row, Asian Heritage Row was explained briefly about the clubs that are available there.
Part 1 of my research became a guideline to progress further with the dissertation. Part 2 was started off by explaining the licensing system in Malaysia with the 3 different types of license that are available. In order to be able to answer the research questions, interviews were conducted with Managers of clubs in Asian Heritage Row, to identify the factors leading to its success. Being a Muslim country it was thought that it would be rather complicating for promoting, advertising etc. but surprisingly, the theories that were found out more or less matched the factors of why Asian Heritage had been a successful place.
From the findings that were analysed, the factors leading to the success of Asian Heritage Row suggest that the clubs can still be successful with such high competition, as the competition available brings more people into the general area. The more the people the better it is for business. Besides that, the promotion, advertising and music also act as factors to the success of Asian Heritage Row. It is because of these things that the target market is informed that there are changes or have something different to show your customers.
Customers always want something new so that they are always entertained. The Music in Asian Heritage Row varies from club to club, in fact some clubs play different types of music on different days. The cover charge and service also influences people's choices in choosing clubs. The cover charge shouldn't be too expensive as people might find it not worth it but at the same time it shouldn't be too cheap as that would result in an influx of lower class people.
The service of a club influences the choice of a consumer as well. Service includes the staff, environment and music. If you can give top notch service to your clients, they will for surely come back. Club owners should make sure they change the décor periodically just so that they don't get bored.
Part 3 recommends what can be done to make Asian Heritage Row a better place, by adding more facilities into the area. Though the area is fully developed, they still haven't been able to execute making it a very safe place.
During the process this dissertation there have been few limitations. The major limitation faced is lack of information. This is due to the lack of time and when the interviews could be conducted. The managers were too busy with their own work and tried to answer briefly, so it was difficult to ascertain how they really felt. Some of them refused to be interviewed as they didn't have time. To complete this research again, I would collect the primary data using questionnaires. This is because questionnaires are more accurate as you have more respondents and structured answers when compared to interviews.
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