Furniture store card spending down in October 2023

Consumer card spending in furniture stores declined during October 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 7.1% – down for a tenth consecutive month this year, while transaction growth was negative, down 4.5% against the same month last year.

Home improvement and DIY stores saw spending growth fall 7.8%, with transaction growth up 0.6%. Department stores saw spending growth increase 0.4%, with transaction growth also up by 5.5%. Discount stores saw a decline of 9% in spend growth, while transaction growth was down 12.2%.

Overall, consumer card spending grew just 2.6% year-on-year in October – noticeably less than the latest CPIH inflation rate of 6.3% and the smallest uplift since September 2022 (1.8%) – as Brits’ concern over rising energy bills and outgoing costs ahead of the festive period hindered discretionary spending.

Esme Harwood, Director at Barclays, said: “Brits cut back on non-essential categories such as clothing and restaurants in October, as thoughts turned to saving for Christmas and budgeting for winter fuel bills. The unseasonably warm weather also hampered spending on indoor experiences, including digital streaming services and takeaways. However, pubs, bars & clubs still achieved strong growth, boosted by England’s performance at the Rugby World Cup, while the travel sector benefitted from a rise in holiday bookings.

“At the supermarket, value-for-money is still a priority, with consumers increasingly wary of “slack-filling”, when a product’s packaging hides unnecessary empty space inside. On a brighter note, supermarkets are also being given credit for trying to keep prices down, with one in three noticing price cuts on everyday items.”

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