Brexit aftermath: UK Tattoo studio expansion stalls

Amsterdam, 16-4-2024 – Tattoo culture has long been thriving in the UK. Over the past 10 years, the number of tattoo studios has grown by a staggering 107%. However, recent data from data specialist BoldData reveals a surprising development: a halt in the growth trend of tattoo studios. For the first time in a decade, the industry has encountered a downturn, marked by a decrease of 10 stores. It seems Brexit has affected the industry. As forecasted in a 2020 survey, 77% of the tattoo artists in the UK rated the impact of Brexit on the industry as significant. 

The British love for ink has been evident in the significant rise in the number of tattoo studios over the past decade. From 1,637 ink studios in 2014 to 3,394 studios in 2023. However, this momentum seems to have waned. As the tattoo industry takes an unexpected turn, with 10 shops closing their doors last year. It appears that Brexit has cast its shadow over the industry. In 2020 tattoo artists already expressed their concerns, with 67% being highly concerned about the future of the industry. The tattoo artists surveyed said clients were already spending less and a lot of good artists were leaving the country.

 London is the ink temple

When it comes to ink, London is the place to be with 289 tattoo shops. Following closely behind is Manchester, with 157 tattoo studios. Birmingham also makes its mark in the tattoo scene, hosting 58 tattoo studios. 

UK ranks as the third-largest tattoo country
The USA leads the global tattoo scene with the highest number of tattoo studios, totaling 17,168 establishments, representing 39% of all tattoo studios worldwide. Germany holds the second position with 3,789 tattoo studios, accounting for 9% of the global total*. The UK secures the third spot with 3,390 tattoo studios, comprising 8% of the global total.