Consumer card spending grew 16 per cent in November compared to the same period in 2019, with early Christmas shopping giving a boost to retail, hospitality and leisure, according to new data from Barclaycard.
Speaking with 2,000 respondents, clothing recorded its largest uplift (11 per cent) since before the start of the pandemic as shoppers stocked up on warmer items for winter.
Almost four in 10 consumers who celebrate Christmas also said they are buying gifts earlier than normal this year. This comes as ‘specialist retailers’ – such as gift shops, toy shops and jewellers – recorded a sizeable increase of 21.1 per cent.
Despite bars, pubs and clubs growing by 34.2 per cent, darker evenings encouraged Brits to spend more on at-home activities, leading to growth in takeaways, subscriptions, and electronics.
As such, restaurants are still suffering (-4.3 per cent) and the ongoing concerns around the Covid variant may continue this decline.
Jose Carvalho, Head of Consumer Products at Barclaycard, said: “The arrival of Christmas markets and lights across the UK brought some festive cheer to the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors in November, while the return of darker nights and colder evenings saw Brits spend more on at-home pursuits such as takeaways and home entertainment.
“As we head into final preparations for the holiday season, it’s unclear how the new Covid variant and potential further restrictions will impact socialising, shopping and consumer confidence. In light of recent changes, we will need to wait and see whether this has an impact on how Brits choose to finish their Christmas shopping this year.”