Heating and eating costs nix Golden Quarter spend

14 Feb 2023

The verdict is in on 2022’s Golden Quarter: as expected, keeping warm and putting food on the table were the big winners for most UK households. Between them, domestic energy costs and food and drink took an extra £8.6bn out of households’ pockets in the last three months of 2022, compared with a year earlier (See ConsumerCast’s latest report UK Retail Outlook Spring 2023 for more).

Beyond that, those who had any cash to spare weren’t putting it into retail spend. Instead, people’s normalisation of how they live their lives means a steady recovery in travel and leisure spend, including restaurants and hotels. Together, these gobbled up another £7.5bn, leaving non-food retail with a miserly £1.0bn of extra spend versus a year before.

Unfortunately this is a foretaste of trends to come in 2023, as the haves spend on leisure and socialising and the have nots are focused on basic living costs. It’s set to be a challenging time for retailers, but there will be some opportunities. To find out more, read the latest report UK Retail Outlook Spring 2023