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Brits rein in fashion spend as Brexit looms

By Huw Hughes


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Fashion spend in the UK fell sharply in February, with shoppers spending 5.2 percent less on clothing and their average transactions dropping by 1.3 percent, according to new data from Barclaycard.

Spend on family clothing dropped by 6.8 percent, spend on footwear was down by 4.1 percent and menswear dropped 2.5 percent. Womenswear offered slight relief, with spend up 4.8 percent.

Department stores saw another month of decline of 5.5 percent.

Barclaycard said that the drop in sales may be a result of Brits re-evaluating their budgets. According to the company, which sees nearly half of the nation’s credit and debit card transactions, almost one in three Brits (32 per cent) say they are cutting back on non-essential items such as buying new clothes or eating out, or shopping more often at discount stores.

Fashion spend slows as Brexit deadline approaches

Additionally, half of UK adults say they worry that Brexit will have a negative impact on the UK economy and negatively impact their personal finances, while almost one in five (18 per cent) have started stockpiling essential food items in case of shortages in the near future.

“Uncertainty over Brexit appears to be driving a shift in behaviour, with many Brits worrying about price rises and cutting back on non-essential spend, and some even stockpiling everyday items,” Esme Harwood, director at Barclaycard, commented in the report.

“Discretionary expenditure has seen a considerable decline – spending at retailers continues to decrease, and even hotels, pubs and restaurants are feeling the impact of cut backs.”

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