Furniture store card spending down in May 2024

Consumer card spending in furniture stores declined during May when compared to last year, says new data from Barclays.

According to the latest Barclays Consumer Spending Index, which includes both debit and credit cards, furniture store spending growth declined 2.3% – down for a seventeenth consecutive month, while transaction growth was positive, up 3.5% against the same month last year.

Home improvement and DIY stores saw spending growth fall 5.4%, with transaction growth down 1.3%. Department stores saw spending growth decrease 1.8%, with transaction growth up by 0.7%. Discount stores saw a decline of 8.4% in spend growth, while transaction growth was down 10.6%.

Overall, consumer card spending grew just 1.0 per cent year-on-year in May, the smallest rise since February 2021 and significantly lower than the latest CPIH inflation rate of 3.0 per cent. Resilient categories such as airlines and takeaways were knocked by rising household bills, while wet weather continued to cast a cloud over the high street. However, consumers are feeling optimistic about the latest inflation figures, with three in 10 (28 per cent) planning to spend more when the weather improves.

Karen Johnson, Head of Retail at Barclays, said: “Retailers faced a challenging May, yet the few sunnier days in the month did bring a welcome uptick in footfall. As consumers gear up to spend more with better weather, and with the Euros, Wimbledon, and Taylor Swift’s ‘Eras Tour’ on the horizon, there’s a brighter outlook for the coming months.”

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