Fashion fares badly in March - Barclaycard report
UK consumer spending fell 7.2% in March compared to the same period in 2019, as lockdown continued, Barclaycard said on Tuesday.
It compared the figures to 2019 rather than 2020 as March last year marked the start of lockdown so was far from being a ‘normal’ comparison period.
The company said that while spending on essential items grew 7.7% compared to 2019, non-essential spend was down 14.5%, although this represents a slight improvement compared to the previous two months of lockdown.
And fashion fared even worse than most non-essential categories. Barclaycard said that with stores still closed, clothing spend was down 28.6% compared to the same period in 2019, the largest two-year drop recorded in the category since May 2020.
That’s an interesting development and could have been a result of consumers halting their purchases of the stay-at-home clothing that they've been buying for the past year, but not yet being ready to buy the going-out clothing that the lockdown easing requires.
But there’s hope for the future with Barclaycard also saying that more consumers were booking travel during March, which would suggest holiday plans are being made and holiday wardrobes will be on the shopping list at some point soon.
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