Many retailers are struggling on the high street but it’s not just down to shopper belt-tightening and the shift to online: consumers are continuing to prioritise leisure over retail spending.

GlobalData Retail’s monthly consumer sentiment report shows that more shoppers predict they will increase spend on leisure over the next six months compared to retail. Retail spending sentiment  remained relatively buoyant over the months leading up to Christmas 2017, however with consumers splashing out on Christmas gifts at the end of last year, January 2018 witnessed a significant drop in the number of respondents asserting they would spend more on retail over the coming six months. Extensive promotions in the run up to Christmas, with Black Friday in November and unprecedented discounting in December, has resulted in many consumers bringing forward spending.


The proportion of shoppers stating they will spend more on leisure has remained relatively constant, even after consumers spent more over the festive period. Shoppers are more willing to spend on a meal out or on an activity such as going to the cinema regardless of the time of year, with these activities more appealing due to the social aspect and changes in consumer attitudes meaning people are prioritising going out over owning items.

The proportion of younger consumers planning to spend more on leisure over the next six months has been a driving factor in the increase in the national average.  While the national average proportion has risen 1.6ppts between November 2017 and April 2018 for those aged 18-44, the increase is +2.2ppts.

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