The prolonged cold winter and impact of the Beast from the East have curtailed consumer spending in the first three months of the year.
In case we needed further confirmation of the current economic doom and gloom, recent stats from Deloitte revealed a 3% drop in spending in pubs and bars, and 2% in restaurants, compared to the previous year.
The report found a decrease in spending in seven out of 11 leisure categories. Almost half of consumers surveyed said they spent less on going out because they ‘could not afford it’, suggesting they were consciously downshifting their discretionary spending.
‘Consumers are sheltering their disposable income in order to prioritise spending on essentials,’ said Deloitte’s Simon Oaten. ‘Leisure businesses will be hoping that improved weather conditions may encourage consumers to go out and spend in restaurants, bars and pubs after a long winter period.’
However, the Oaten warned that this consumer caution shows no sign of abating over the coming three months.
Another report, from Wine Intelligence this time, found that wine in particular is failing to hold its own in the restaurant industry. It attributed this to gin, cocktails and craft beers being ‘talked about more’ and growing in repertoire over the past year.