Warm weather and Easter weekend prompt boost in consumer clothing spend


Consumer spending in the UK saw an overall rise of 3.7 per cent year-on-year this April, according to Barclaycard’s latest monthly update, as warmer weather and the Easter holiday long weekend prompted consumers to shop.

The spending data, based on transactions from Barclaycard’s UK credit card business and spending on Barclays debit cards, showed that although consumers remained cautious in their spending overall, there was a boost that was particularly evident in clothing spend, which showed a growth of 13.8 per cent.

In fact, spending on menswear, womenswear, and family clothing was up 66 per cent, 44 per cent and 23 per cent respectively, year-on-year. However, the data also demonstrated that average transaction values have fallen again, dropping by 5 per cent as consumers continue to search for value while they wait for the improving state of the economy to impact their own finances.

Also of note is the drop in online spending, with a growth of 5.8 per cent the lowest level seen this year, as warm weather and four days off work enticed more consumers to venture out to the high street.

Val Soranno Keating, CEO of Barclaycard, said: “Though many economic indicators continue to paint a positive picture and the talk is of a recovering economy, the improvements are yet to trickle down and positively impact on household budgets.”

Keating added: “While the growth in spending in April is encouraging, this is as likely to reflect the better weather and the long Easter weekend as any improvement in the economy.”