Consumer spend on clothing dropped 3.9% for the month of September as shoppers continued to prioritise experiences, new data from Barclaycard has shown.
The retail sector’s challenges persisted against a backdrop of overall growth, as one-third of customers confirmed they were spending less than normal on autumn clothes this year.
The decline matches that of UK retail sales growth, which experienced an all-time low for September fuelled by continued Brexit uncertainty.
Total consumer spend grew by a modest 1.6%, Barclaycard reports. However, overall consumer confidence remained low, and just 29% of UK adults were positive about the UK economy.
Experiential and entertainment spend both grew: restaurant spend rose by 4.5% and overall entertainment spend by 4.7%.
Esme Harwood, director at Barclaycard, said: “September’s figures demonstrate the continuing trend of spending on experiences rather than products, with Brits preferring to attend events, eat out or go to the pub with friends. We’re also seeing the impact of the subscription economy, with strong growth in digital services such as Netflix, Spotify and Amazon Prime.
“However, confidence remains low with consumers uncertain about the economic outlook. In the run-up to Brexit, the stockpiling trend shows no sign of going away with cautious shoppers already looking ahead to Christmas and buying festive food and drink in case unexpected shortages hit the shelves in the months ahead.”