U.K. Consumer Spending on Experiences at Home Jumped During Pandemic
U.K. consumer spending jumped 5.9% this year over levels prevailing before the pandemic struck, driven by a shift toward experiences at home.
Barclaycard, which sees about half of all credit and debit card purchases in the nation, said so-called “insperiences” boosted spending on takeaways and fast food by 62% in 2021 and digital subscriptions by 47%.
The figures underscore a trend away from shopping in stores while the coronavirus raged. They suggest strength in consumer demand that may help the economy recover from its worst recession in a century and benefit online retailers, which enjoyed a 63% jump in sales this year compared with face-to-face stores.
“Consumers and businesses are capable of adapting to and overcoming immense hardship,” Jose Carvalho, head of consumer products at Barclaycard, said in a report released on Friday. “I’m optimistic about the year ahead.”
The report also showed:
- Summer holidays in the U.K., dubbed “staycations,” drove a 15.9% jump in spending on hotels, resorts and accommodation in August. Older consumer aged between 50 and 64 accounted for the biggest increases, while those ages 16-24 cut spending
- Food and drink specialist stores including butchers, green grocers and meal-kit providers saw 74% growth this year with consumers favoring local shops
- Spending on home improvements, do-it-yourself repairs and furniture also rose strongly
©2022 Bloomberg L.P.