Young shoppers switch spend from clothing to homes and garden

Young Brits have shifted their spending from clothing and shoes to home and gardens during the Coronavirus lockdown, with spending in this category up 262 per cent according to new data from Klarna.

The payments firm analysed spending through its 5,000 retail partners in the UK to identify the product categories most often shopped for using flexible payments options.

It found that after homes and gardens (262 per cent), spending by Generation Z customers (aged five to 25 years old) on health and beauty increased by 81 per cent between 9 March and 20 April, while spending on leisure, sports and hobbies was up by 17 per cent.

Meanwhile, the Millennial generation (aged 22 to 38) spent the first few weeks of March preparing for lock down by investing in the leisure, sport and hobby category. This age group also saw a particularly large shift towards the home and garden category, as spending on clothes and shoes decreased comparatively.

The Generation X age group (aged 41 to 55) also followed suit, with spend on home and garden related goods up 156 per cent on a relative basis between 9 March and 20 April.

On a category by category basis, clothing and shoes spiked in early March, with a rise of eight per cent, as Brits prepared for the lockdown to be announced.

Since then, the percentage of overall spending on fashion has decreased rapidly, dropping 15 per cent between the week commencing 9 March to 16 March - the week before social distancing measures fully came into place.

As a relative share of total purchases, spending on health and beauty products rose rapidly as lockdown became a possibility, seeing an increase of 14 per cent between the week beginning 16 March and 23 March.

Luke Griffiths, general manager at Klarna UK, said: “For retailers and brands, the data may indicate an early emphasis on leisure, sport and hobbies, and health and beauty, as consumers chose to buy comfort items to work from home in, as well as workout wear to keep them fit and exercising in their living rooms.

“The trend skews clearly towards consumers adapting to a longer period of lockdown and life at home in the summer, with the focus moving towards kitting out homes and gardens.

"Whilst the last week in April and the spell of wet weather saw further indoor activities being explored," he added. "Consumers are also taking advantage of flexible online payment options that offer greater control and can help them through this ‘stay-at-home’ period.”

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