Brits spend £40bn during lockdown

Consumers spent £40.6bn on dispensable or luxury items during lockdown, according to the latest figures from Barclaycards Payments. 

Its latest research found that UK adults spent an average of £771.34 each on dispensable items over the last several months, as more retailers launched products and services designed to be used at home. 

Men reportedly spent the most, with total purchases averaging £1,014.08 per person, while women spent around £571.58 on average. 

Londoners and families with children were the two highest spending groups overall, with the average spend of £2,812.26 and £2,070.35, respectively.

According to Barclaycard, a third of consumers found that their purchases made lockdown “more enjoyable”, while 28% purchased items or services that would “make them, or their family happy”.

Takeaway food and drink was the most popular purchase during lockdown, accounting for 24% of purchases, followed by summer wardrobe pieces which totalled 19% of consumer spending.  

Outdoor plants and flowers proved popular at 16%, while baking ingredients closely followed at 15%. 

Eight out of 10 consumers reportedly plan to keep hold of their purchases, while only 6% felt buyer’s remorse towards an item they bought. Some 47% added that their purchases proved “useful”, while 20% said they were planning to give away “at least” one lockdown purchase to charity.

Kirsty Morris, managing director for account development at Barclaycard Payments, said: “Being at home for such an extended period of time meant that Brits became imaginative with how they spent their money. 

“From little luxuries to big investments, the nation sought out the things that would bring them happiness and provide entertainment at home. A trend recognised by an increasing number of retailers seeking to attract customers with fun ‘insperience’ services and products during the months of lockdown.” 

She added: “Things that could have been left redundant as lockdown eased, have instead have made their way up the ranks to be deemed household must-haves that people didn’t know they needed. 

“Many of the items bought have also encouraged people to take up new hobbies, but perhaps more importantly, were successful in making such an unusual period, that little bit more enjoyable.”

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