Furniture store card spending down in November 2023

Consumer card spending in furniture stores declined during November 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 2.6% – down for an eleventh consecutive month this year, while transaction growth was positive, up 1.6% against the same month last year.

Home improvement and DIY stores saw spending growth fall 6.3%, with transaction growth down 0.8%. Department stores saw spending growth increase 5%, with transaction growth also up by 8.4%. Discount stores saw a decline of 7.7% in spend growth, while transaction growth was down 11.6%.

Overall, consumer card spending grew 2.9% year-on-year in November – less than the latest CPIH inflation rate of 4.7% but higher than October’s 2.6% growth – as Brits’ confidence in their ability to spend on non-essential items (56 per cent) reached its highest level since April. The high street received a welcome boost from month-long Black Friday sales, as well as the late arrival of cold and wet weather.

Esme Harwood, Director at Barclays, said: “Shoppers got into the festive spirit early this year, flocking to the high street to take advantage of month-long Black Friday sales, and unlocking long-awaited retail growth. Consumers were also keen to socialise, but prioritised more economical – and warmer – ways to catch-up with friends and family, choosing cosy nights in with takeaways or enjoying drinks at the pub instead of dining out at restaurants.

“November also marked a turning point for consumer sentiment – confidence in personal finances improved, with Brits starting to feel less concerned about some of 2023’s defining issues, such as inflation, interest rates, and food prices – so there are reasons to be cautiously optimistic as we look ahead to Christmas and the New Year.”

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