British Consumers' Retail Spending Sees Sharp Fall During April

British Consumers’ Retail Spending Sees Sharp Fall During April

Posted Wednesday, May 13, 2020 by
Arslan Butt • 1 min read

Retail spending by British consumers registered a sharp contraction during the month of April as a result of the lockdown measures imposed by the government in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. According to the latest survey by BRC, total retail sales declined by 19.1% YoY during April, the fastest rate of contraction on record since the survey began.

In-store sales of non-good items was down by 36% even as sales of food items rose by 6% in April. Consumers, however, increased their online spending on non-good items by almost 60% amid the lockdown.

Meanwhile, according to a separate survey by Barclaycard, British consumers spending using their credit and debit cards also contracted by 36.5% YoY for the period. The contraction was a direct result of the shutdowns across the country, which forced people to stay indoors and cancel their plans for travel, eating out, and make non-essential purchases.

Barclaycard’s survey also indicates a 14% rise in supermarket sales and a 27% increase in online shopping, espcially on home improvement, while sales at pubs and restaurants were down by 97%. Consumer confidence in the economy has slumped to the lowest levels seen in around six years as a result of the ongoing crisis, with only 20% respondents feeling optimistic about the economic outlook.

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