A nightclub in Hong Kong’s Lan Kwai Fong (LKF) district is giving a whole new meaning to “member’s only” after it emerged the venue has banned patrons from wearing clothing. The club has struggled in recent years with a softening of demand, and management revealed that the clothing ban was a last-ditch attempt to turn-around shrinking profits.
“Return on assets fell 12% year on year in 2015,” said Franklin Chan, an investor in the group that owns the nightclub. “We invested heavily in foreign DJs to drive attendance, but attracting the big names was harder than expected.” While Mr Chan agreed that the clothing ban was unusual, the early data points suggest the new strategy is bearing fruits. “We’ve only had the ban in place for a few days, but already we’re seeing huge crowds, far above the same period last year.” In fact, on the first night of the ban, the club reached full capacity at 11pm. “We had to turn away several of our distinguished members from the grand opening,” commented Mr Chan.
Mr Chan went on to explain that the venue has imposed strict conditions to prevent perverts taking photographs or videos at the venue. “Since we banned clothing, we’ve also restricted the use of smartphones and cameras in the club.” He went on to mention that this rule is enforced by the venue’s security team, who are instructed to perform cavity searches if they suspect a patron is concealing a recording device. “We had one lady a few days ago who was found with an iPhone 6 in a rather unhygienic place, and we didn’t know whether to be shocked or impressed.”
With this exception, Mr Chan reported that the club’s guests have been generally well-behaved since clothing was banned. “As expected, there have been some reports of men groping female guests on the dancefloor, but it’s quite consistent with the groping level before we banned clothes.” In fact, Mr Chan pointed out that the rate of men complaining of bad treatment by female patrons has risen sharply. “A number of male members reported that women verbally abused them and insulted the size of their packages,” he revealed. “However, we expect this is just a seasonal issue and should be largely resolved by summer.”