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Consumer Spending Drops Amid ‘Stay-At-Home Mentality’

Updated: Nov 17, 2020

Consumer spending dropped by 0.1% year on year last month, as new restrictions and the arrival of colder weather saw more UK shoppers staying at home.

Data from Barclaycard shows spending on essential items grew 4.2%, with a third (33%) of respondents saying they are stockpiling essentials in preparation for potential shortages.

Clothing spending fell 2.7%, although 20.6% growth was posted in online clothing, and general retailers and catalogues enjoyed 50% growth in spending during October. Food and drink specialist stores rose by 50.7%, with nearly half (48%) of shoppers saying they were supporting local businesses. Digital content and subscriptions were up by 33.3%.

Overall online transactions grew by 29% during the month, accounting for 45.7% of all retail spend; a steady rise from August (44%) and September (43.4%).

“As Brits once again adjust to tighter restrictions, it’s no surprise that the digital habits adopted earlier this year are enduring,” Barclays head of consumer products Raheel Ahmed says.

“As we enter another period of lockdown in England and further restrictions across the UK, this stay-at home mentality is likely to persist, as is the popularity of takeaways and digital subscriptions – helped along by the colder weather and darker evenings.”

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