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M&S states UK optimism is at its highest level in two years

By Danielle Wightman-Stone

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Business

Marks & Spencer's Marble Arch store. Credits: Marks & Spencer

The prospect of warmer weather, holidays and events this summer is driving optimism amongst UK families, according to Marks and Spencer’s Family Matters Index.

The quarterly tracker, which looks at the priorities, challenges, and ambitions of families across the UK, found that 45 percent of the UK feel optimistic about their family’s prospects for the next three months - the highest level in two years.

This marks a significant improvement from September 2022’s figures when optimism was at a record low at just 32 percent as inflation reached 10.8 percent.

The Index also reveals that one in three consumers (32 percent) now feel more in control of their families' finances and are looking to make the most of the summer holidays, and 37 percent will use the summer break as an opportunity to spend more quality time with loved ones.

Despite the cost of living being front of mind for four in five people, M&S said the prospect of warmer weather, events and holidays is helping to drive a more positive outlook. This summer, almost half of the population (45 percent) have at least one event such as a wedding, sporting event or concert to look forward to and half of the families are planning a staycation or holiday abroad and Europe is the destination of choice according to currency exchange data from M&S Bank.

While over half (55 percent) of international holidays planned were beach holidays, which M&S said accounted for the three consecutive record-breaking weeks for its Holiday Shop collection. Sales of beachwear were up 46 percent, linen was up 22 percent and swimwear up 11 percent between April and June.

M&S also adds that value continues to be a priority this season, as 62 percent of respondents placed this as their single top priority, a 4 percent increase since January.

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Marks & Spencer