The latest data from Barclaycard, which sees nearly half of the nation’s credit and debit card transactions, has revealed that food and drink specialist stores – which includes independent convenience stores, off-licences, greengrocers, butchers and bakeries – enjoyed 37.7% year-on-year growth during April.
The figure sits in stark contrast to overall consumer spending, which contracted by 36.5% over the same period, showing the impact of ongoing social distancing measures.
Over half (57%) of Brits said the current environment has made them realise how much they value local retailers. As a result, UK adults are planning to spend more locally when restrictions are lifted.
Supermarkets also continued to see a boost in sales – climbing 14.3% as Brits made larger shops and prepared more meals at home.
Spending on essential items declined by 7.5%, which can largely be attributed to a 58.9% reduction in fuel spend.
Spending on non-essentials fell by 47.7% with travel, which includes public transport, seeing a decline of 86.8% as much of the UK stopped commuting. The closure of bars, pubs and clubs saw these businesses plummet by 96.9%.
Esme Harwood, Director at Barclaycard, said: “It’s been a tough time for retailers as consumer spending has dropped considerably under lockdown.
“A renewed sense of community may be welcome news for independent businesses, with a growing desire to support local stores in life after lockdown.”