Consumer confidence hit 12-month high last month as online retail boom continues

Consumer spending fell by nearly 14 per cent last month despite consumer confidence in the economy rising to its highest level in a year.

According to the latest figures from payments giant Barclaycard, spending dropped 13.8 per cent in February, including a 22.1 per cent drop in non-essential spending.

This was offset by a 5.3 per cent growth in spending on essential items, boosted by a 17.4 per cent jump in supermarket spend.

Supermarket spending continued to surge thanks to a whopping 115.2 per cent jump in online grocery spend as both retailers and consumers adapt to the continuing lockdown restrictions.

The ongoing online exodus saw ecommerce sales represent 53.7 per cent of all retail spend in February, driven by a 100 per cent growth in online marketplace spend.

READ MORE: Online retail sales continue staggering growth in February rising 70%

“Despite a very challenging environment, it’s inspiring to see many retailers remaining resilient and doing what they can to maximise online sales while physical stores remain closed,” Barclaycard’s head of consumer products Raheel Ahmed said.

“In addition, as we all spend more time at home, we’ve seen home subscription services, fresh food boxes and meal-kit services become a popular mainstay of life in lockdown.

“The start of Spring, the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown, the vaccine roll-out and the extension to the stamp duty holiday are contributing to a lift in the nation’s spirits. With consumers generally feeling more optimistic, there is a strong indication of a more prosperous period to come as the long-awaited recovery and life after lockdown begins.”

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