Customers | 3 MIN READ TIME

News: People in the UK are itching to spend their money on making up for lost time


According to research from Love2shop, people in the UK are most looking forward to spending their money on experiences, not things, as we ease out of lockdown.

Love2shop, with the help of polling agency YouGov, asked 2,020 people around the UK what they were looking forward to spending their money on as we ease out of lockdown. They overwhelmingly said that they’re excited about leisure, travel, and spending time with their family.

Travel in particular was a focal point, with a combined 49% of respondents saying they’re looking forward to travel in the UK, and 40% saying they’re looking forward to travel abroad.

Other popular activities include cinemas, visiting friends, and meals in restaurants. All activities we’ve missed out on over the last 12 months.

The top five activities the UK is most looking forward to spending money on as lockdown eases:

  1. Going on holiday (either in the UK or abroad) – 89%
  2. Having a meal inside a restaurant – 64%
  3. Travelling to see friends and family – 55%
  4. Visiting cinemas, spas, leisure centres, etc. – 44%
  5. Buying clothes in a shop – 34%

Written answers from the survey showed a similar pattern, with social activities being the most popular responses. The most frequent responses Love2shop received involved meeting friends, going to the pub, being able to be spontaneous again and, crucially, spending more time with their family.

In contrast, the public said that they’re least excited about going out to buy new tech and new cars in-person. Just 2% of women, and 6% of men, said they were looking forward to going out and shopping for a new car.

When it comes to technology, young people are slightly more enthusiastic about buying items like phones, laptops, televisions and tablets, with 13% of 18-24 year-olds saying they were looking forward to tech shopping.

However, even the youngest consumers’ enthusiasm for leisure, travel, and social activities dwarfs their interest in buying new tech. Across the board, across gender and age, what everyone’s looking forward to spending money on most is what they feel like they’ve missed out on over the last year.

While the results might be startling for the retail tech and auto dealer industries, other sectors will be delighted by the feedback. Restaurants, travel, and hospitality were popular across all age groups, and in-store clothes retail is in high-demand with women and younger respondents.

Going back to restaurants in particular is universally popular, with more than 60% of respondents, across every age group, saying they were looking forward to the return of indoor dining.

Reacting to the results, Director of Business at Love2shop, Frank Creighton, said, “The data from our survey clearly reflects what our clients and customers say – the UK is desperate to get back to what they’ve missed. The most interesting question for us is how we use the data to help our clients with customer acquisition and customer loyalty.

“When only 4% of the UK is excited to buy a new car in-person, we need to help auto dealers motivate people to go out and take test drives. And, when 64% of the UK are thrilled to eat and drink indoors again, we need to make sure it’s our clients in hospitality that reap the rewards of that with great acquisition and loyalty plans.”

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 2020 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 21st – 22nd April 2021.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).