Most UK shoppers intend to spend the same amount as ever on the high street despite the ecenomic uncertainty surrounding Brexit, according to new research.
The study, commissioned by retail marketing agency Live & Breathe, found that 63 per cent of those surveyed planned to spend the same amount on food despite Brexit, 58 per cent would spend as much as ever on clothing, whiile 59 per cent planned to keep their Christmas 2016 spending budget on a par with previous years.
“Spend the same” was the highest-ranked choice for every type of purchase, from insurance and charitable donations to holidays and eating out.
The “home help” category, which pertains to services such as window washing or dry cleaning, had the lowest score with 45 per cent of consumers saying they planned to spend the same.
The results of the survey, in which 1000 British consumers were asked how they expected Brexit would impact on their shopping behaviour, go against recent reports that consumer confidence has fallen thanks to Brexit.
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Live & Breathe managing director Nick Gray the wake of the Brexit vote has seen too much “scaremongering rather than creating a united front”.
“There have been a lot of horror stories in the press about the impact of Brexit on the UK economy,” he said.
“But whether you like the outcome or not, a decision has been made. Now the nation must get behind that vote and make the right choices for everyone to benefit.
“While people are sure to be feeling unsettled, it appears many of us are just carrying on as normal – especially when it comes to our spending habits.
“But if all we continue to hear are negative stories, it‘s bound to become a self-fulfilling prophecy.”
The survey also found women were more nervous about the impact of Brexit, with 18 per cent of respondents thinking their leisure spending would go down (compared to 14 per cent of men) while 16 per cent expect edto spend less on clothing (compared to 12 per cent of men).
Younger consumers were also identified as more nervous about Brexit. A quarter of 18-24 year olds expected to spend less on leisure activities like cinema trips, compared to 13 per cent of over-45s. In the 23-34 age category, 25 per cent expected to spend less on property, while 17 per cent would probably spend less on savings and pension contributions.
“The concerns over the impact of Brexit are evidently felt more keenly among younger shoppers, who were also more likely to have voted Remain,” Gray said.
“However, currently it is still too early to determine the full effects on shopper behaviour and most spending plans have stayed on course.
“Retailers need to bear that in mind and remain focused on delivering a terrific shopping experience – one that engages with customers and shows them that the high street is there to ride the storm with them.”