Pub operator Greene King has reported that the leisure industry is set for strong Christmas trading as it announced the results of its latest Leisure Spend Tracker.
The combined impact of the Rugby World Cup and Halloween saw the average household leisure spend jump 9% year-on-year to £206 in October, it said. Though the figure represented a £3 fall month-on-month, there was good news for alcohol sales. Despite bad weather compared to October 2014, drinking out saw a year-on-year increase of £5 or 11%.
Fiona Gunn, marketing director at Greene King, said the report reflects the long term upward momentum in consumer confidence, with year-on-year increases in spending on all leisure categories.
The survey also found that 23% of British adults expect to spend more on food and drink outside the home during the Christmas period than they did a year ago. However, 20% expect to spend less. In 2014, just 15% of British adults expected to spend more than in 2013, while almost twice as many at 27% expected to spend less. Confidence is strongest among younger consumers with 38% of 18-24s and 28% of 25-34s expecting to spend more than last year on food and drink outside the home.
'This month's figures provide a reason to be upbeat about the prospects of the leisure sector,' said Gunn. 'They show uniform spending increases across drinking out, eating out and other leisure.
'Events such as the closing stages of the Rugby World Cup, big cinema releases in the shape of Spectre and half term have helped boost spending for households across the country. There is much evidence that this positivity will continue into the Christmas period.'
The monthly Greene King Leisure Spend Tracker is part of an omnibus questionnaire run on behalf of Greene King by research partner YouGov and analysed in conjunction with Trajectory Partnership.