Consumers save up for luxuries and splash out on bargain buys

Kasmira Jefford
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CONSUMER spending at bargain and upmarket stores has grown sharply over the last year, according to new figures released yesterday, as shoppers buy from polar ends of the market.

Data from Barclaycard, which processes nearly half of the UK’s debit and credit transactions, showed that spending at discount stores, budget grocers and fashion outlets has soared by 23 per cent in the year to March as shoppers continue to trade down.

Luxury retail spending has also increased – it was up six per cent year-on-year in March compared to last year – with the average basket amount up nearly nine per cent to £121.

The growth of bargain and luxury players has come at a the expense of mid-market retailers, many of which have seen flat or even negative growth.

At just 1.1 per cent last month, overall growth was below inflation for the first time in six months, Barclaycard said.

Supermarket spending was down 2.6 per cent while departments stores sales were flat.