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Restaurant spending increases over Christmas despite retailers' struggles

07 January 2016 by
Restaurant spending increases over Christmas despite retailers' struggles

Restaurants and pubs saw strong increases in spending over the Christmas, despite a tougher time for high street retailers.

Spending in restaurants was up 13.1% over the Christmas period compared with Christmas 2014, while pubs saw an even stronger boost of 13.7%.

That's according to the latest data from Barclaycard, which processes nearly half of all credit and debit card transactions in the UK.

While shoppers migrated online, at the expense of high street stores, they also demonstrated a clear demand for leisure activities, Barclaycard said.

In addition to the rises in pub and restaurant spending, cinema spend also spiked up 81.9% during the week of the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Chris Wood, chief operating officer at Barclaycard said: "In many ways, this Christmas brought to the fore all the shopping trends of 2015. The large spikes in spending, centred around sales days like Black Friday, emphasise consumers' increasing search for value as they hold back their spending until the best deals emerge. Likewise, whilst online shopping has grown in popularity throughout the year, the strength of consumer preference for digital over the high street was seen in full effect over the Christmas period. As retailers continue to release their Christmas trading updates we expect many to reflect these changing behaviours.

"In terms of what consumers purchased, a large proportion of spend went towards activities and experiences, such as a Christmas dinner out or a night at the cinema. Looking ahead to 2016, it will be interesting to see where UK consumers choose to spend their money, and how the continuing shift towards the purchasing of experiences and services, as opposed to goods, develops and what that will mean for the retail sector."

Contactless spend in pubs, bars and restaurants jumps 92% >>
Tourists forecast to spend £23b in 2016 >>
Household eating out falls by 7% in November as footfall drops >>

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