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Data Shows Experiences Over Things Is The Way Forward In 2024!

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The headlines say it all…you need more experiences over ‘things’ and it looks like the people of the UK are finally starting to come round to our way of thinking if the statistics are anything to go by!

Recent data released by Barclays Bank shows that during the typically busy shopping periods, people were spending more on themselves and actually experiencing life than thinking about materialistic items.

Retailers found that they experienced subdued sales during the crucial pre-Christmas period as consumer spending shifted from buying presents to spending their money on leisure activities like parties and cinema outings.

Barclays data showed a less than expected surge in festive shopping as the British Retail Consortium (BRC) noted a dampened retail performance possibly due to low consumer confidence, with December's year-on-year sales growth at 1.7%, a decrease from the previous year's 6.9%.

Festival goers

The BRC's Helen Dickinson highlighted that weak consumer confidence led to modest retail sales growth during the festive season, failing to compensate for a challenging year. Consumers were cautious about larger purchases like furniture and homeware and that she anticipated a difficult 2024 for retailers due to high living costs.

Barclays reported a 2.3% increase in December consumer card spending, lower than November's 2.9% and beneath the current inflation rate. Digital content and subscription spending, including on-demand services like Netflix and Apple TV, rose by 11.6%. Hospitality and leisure sectors, however, saw robust growth in entertainment demand.

The travel industry saw robust growth with airlines and travel agents outperforming their November figures. Many Brits are planning more holidays in 2024, with a notable portion saving for bigger trips and looking for deals in January sales. Beach vacations, city breaks, and adventure trips are popular choices. Preferred destinations include the UK, Spain, and Greece.

This all points towards the fact that people realise there is small gratification to be had from more ‘stuff’ whereas treating your loved one to experiences like an annual cinema ticket or going to a concert means that you’re going to have the memories that will last forever, which is more that can be said from the socks Santa gave you which already have a hole in….!

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