Beauty wins over British shoppers, beating fashion and supermarkets

By Sarah Parsons 8-May-2019

Barclaycard's latest report revealed UK consumers preferred to spend their money at cosmetic stores in April

Beauty outpaced the majority of retail categories in April, the latest monthly Barclaycard review revealed.

UK consumer spending managed to rise 2.5% last month, with the Brexit delay and warmer than normal Easter weekend credited to the increase in shopper confidence.

Across the 35 categories measured, ‘cosmetic stores’ came in sixth place with a 10.1% year-on-year growth.

Fashion retailers and department stores failed to interest customers with a decline of 5.2% and 2% respectively.

Supermarkets reported a moderate growth of 5.8%.

Despite beauty’s success, Barclaycard said overall spending “remained relatively modest, with the retail sector continuing to struggle”.

Esme Harwood, Director at Barclaycard, added: “While the Brexit delay seems to have brought some short term relief to consumer confidence, it’s clear that many shoppers still remain cautious about making any big-ticket purchases such as holidays, a new car or investing in home improvements.”

Gambling (-15.%), discount stores (-7.4%) and men’s clothing (-6.8%) saw the biggest drop in sales.

Looking forward, many shoppers continue to remain cautious with their money, as six in ten (61%) expect no change to their shopping plans for May.

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According to Barclays, Barclaycard sees nearly half of Britain’s credit and debit transactions.