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Deloitte: UK consumers spending more on leisure

Aug 16
 
Tags: Deloitte
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Consumers in the UK have been spending more on leisure activities during the second quarter of 2019, according to new data - although it seems to have been more to gain experiences than to own physical items.

The Leisure Consumer Report from Deloitte polled more than 3,000 adults and found net spending on leisure was up by one percentage point for both quarter-on-quarter and year-on-year.

Looking in greater detail at exactly what people were spending their money on, it was found that Britons were splashing out more on short breaks, which were up by three per cent.

However, spending on longer trips was down, suggesting some may have delayed bookings until now in the hope of avoiding Brexit chaos or getting last-minute bargains, or that they may be ditching longer breaks altogether in favour of more short getaways.

Deloitte also attributed the trend to a growing number of social media-savvy consumers, who are seeking different travel experiences to the standard package tours and then sharing them with their Instagram audience.

Another area in which leisure spending was up proved to be live sport events, with consumers spending two per cent more on this than last year.

This was presumably down to a greater number of events involving home-grown talent being scheduled for 2019, including the women's football world cup and the cricket world cup final.

One particularly large area of leisure outgoings proved to be coffee and sandwich shops, which topped quarter-on-quarter spending by category with a rise of three percentage points.

This should perhaps come as no surprise, as the most recent Allegra world coffee report showed there are around 25,483 coffee shops in Britain. We spent a record £10.1 billion in them in 2018, with the industry enjoying a 7.9 per cent boost in sales.

Meanwhile, according to a poll by the Online Electricals Store, the average Briton buys three drinks from a cafe or coffee shop each week, demonstrating the extent to which they have become intrinsic to UK lifestyles as opposed to being viewed as an unnecessary expense.

Partner for hospitality and leisure at Deloitte Simon Oaten said: "Whilst consumer confidence remained flat over the same period, strong leisure spending means consumers continue to power the economy. The question is how much longer they can continue to do so."

The organisation also pointed out that consumers seeking unique experiences rather than material things is a trend perpetuated from the previous quarter.

Indeed, previous research from Deloitte published in June discovered 36 per cent of 18 to 34-year-olds would rather treat themselves to a trip to the cinema or a restaurant than go shopping for clothes.

This demonstrates how experiences have become a new currency in social interaction and a way for people to stand out online, the organisation said.

"The future of the high street relies on its ability to combine physical retail space with experiential leisure. Businesses that have flourished so far are those that have struck the right balance of both," its report concluded.

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