Current Spending Trends

By joanne | 26th August | Marketing Skills, Marketing Strategy, Marketing Training

Although we’re being told the country is coming out of recession, businesses in the North have noticed a tightening this year in terms of what consumers are spending and it seems the recession has finally reached our shores.  That said, there is an optimism that the worst is over and things are beginning to improve; albeit slowly.  So where are customers spending their money right now?

Both Next and John Lewis posted great results a couple of months ago but, more recently, Poundland has also returned an increase in their annual profits.  Whilst this paints a confused picture, it seems there may be some patterns:

  • Consumers are looking for value, but they only want to buy once.  So, they’re turning to brands such as Next and John Lewis and buying fewer, quality items that they know will last.
  • For everyday staple items, such as cleaning products and toiletries, they are seeking out value.  Interestingly, the spokesman for Poundland said they’d seen the largest increase in sales of branded items – so people are still looking for the brands they trust – just at the best prices.
  • Whilst people are spending less on meals out, the cinemas have been thriving.  The supermarkets have also been able to adapt to this trend with their ‘Eat in for £10’ offers and sales of the ‘Finest’ ranges within the larger food retailers have been strong.  It seems people are happy to spend a little more and treat themselves at home if they aren’t going out as often.
  • There’s also an argument that customers feel slightly guilty for spending money when they perhaps should be saving, or for buying something frivolous when others are struggling.  As a result, it’s expected that promotions may shift to emphasising the ‘deserved treats’.

The key thing to remember is that customers are buying.  Many are better off as a result of the drop in interest rates, so they are spending – it’s just a case of where they’re spending.  And, if they’re not spending with you, perhaps now’s the time to look for some marketing advice.

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