UK Spending Habits and Most In-Demand Brands

Spending habits

Retail report reveals UK spending habits and the MOST in-demand brands post-lockdown

New data from Dojo, has revealed the UK’s spending habits following restrictions being lifted in April. 

The UK payment provider analysed Google search volumes to reveal the most in-demand brands post-lockdown, and which activities Brits were looking forward to spending money on.

The study also analysed Dojo’s own data to find out how much was spent and which UK cities spent the most.

Portsmouth spends the most money when it comes to shops reopening

RankLocationAverage transaction spend between April 12th – April 29th 2021
4West London £106.38
7Manchester £91.76
9South West London £84.20
10Blackburn £80.65

According to Dojo’s own data, Portsmouth residents were ready to get the economy going, spending an average of £131.37 per transaction across a variety of amenities in clothing stores. 

Coventry came second, spending £116.47 per transaction, with Stockport coming third spending £106.82. 

Shopping for clothing in person removes the trial and error of online ordering. It also removes the temptation to over-order, especially if you want to get free delivery when purchasing items.

IKEA, Primark and Matalan were the MOST searched for brands ahead of reopening stores

RankName of Store Question February 2021 searchesMarch 2021 searches% increase in searches
1IKEAWhen does IKEA open?2,38025,820+ 984%
2PrimarkWhen does Primark open?2,98028,450+ 854%
3MatalanWhen does Matalan open?1501,390+ 826%
4ClarksWhen does Clarks open?1401000+614%
5Sports DirectWhen does Sports Direct open?2,40011,930+397%
6HomesenseWhen does Homesense open?120490+308%
7JD SportsWhen does JD Sports open?3501,330+280%
8The Body ShopWhen does The Body Shop open?30110+266%
9Waterstones When does Waterstones open?210720+242%
10TK MaxxWhen does TkMaxx open?6502,010+209%

Searches for IKEA skyrocketed by +984%

Despite IKEA shops being open for click and collect services during February and March 2021, the Swedish giant saw the biggest increase in interest between March and April. Just ahead of customers being allowed back into stores

The stamp duty holiday and cheaper house prices could have persuaded more Brits to get on the property ladder. That, coupled with extra time to spruce up our homes, has made affordable home furnishing stores like IKEA popular in the pandemic. 

The increase in searches could also be the nation wanting to browse in person, rather than online. Physical showrooms and impulse buys are what IKEA is great for, and with so many people looking for a day trip out, it’s no surprise the search volumes skyrocketed.  

Primark search interest increased by +854%

Primark ranked second within the top five of the ‘most searched’ for the leaderboard, with a huge 854% increase in searches for March 2021. Multiple reports* showed huge queues outside the chain store, welcoming back those who hadn’t seen the retail store in over 4 months. 

Primark also has no e-commerce website, so instead of ordering items and goods online, people had to wait for physical stores to reopen – driving demand up.

Matalan ranked third with a +826% increase in searches

Matalan came third in the most searched for retail stores, with an 826% increase between February and March 2021. The retail chain doesn’t just sell clothes, it also offers back to school supplies, homeware, and many household items at bargain prices.

Clarks searches soared +614% with the back to school rush

Clarks shoes experienced a +614% increase in searches between February and March 2021. Kids returned to school on 8 March of this year, however, buying new school shoes online can prove tricky. Many parents likely waited until Clarks stores had opened again to find the perfect fit for their kids. 

Sports Direct had a +397% increase in searches

Whether it was gym goers purchasing new gear for their first session back or school PE supplies, it’s no surprise that Sports Direct also experienced one of the highest search increases just before the shops reopened. With gyms being a no-go for several months, and the weather not really on our side, people were making the most of purchasing discounted sportswear. 

Charity shops saw a HUGE 469% increase in searches for reopening

Type of storeQuestionFebruary 2021 search volumeMarch 2021 search volume% increase in search difference
Charity shopsWhen do charity shops open?9,91056,470+469%
Nail salonsWhen do nail salons open?5,55031,860+474%
HairdressersWhen do hairdressers open?35,520162,540+357%
BeautyWhen do beauty salons open?10,52021,810+107%

The data also found that Brits couldn’t wait to get back to browsing for treasures in charity stores. Whether we are opting to spend money to shop or whether we are looking to clear out our houses and donate items, ‘when do charity shops open?’ had a huge 469% increase between February and March of this year.

Nail salons (+ 474% search increases), hairdressers (357%) and beauty parlours (107%) also saw a huge increase in searches when they reopen. With hair growing out of control and no pamper time, this has resulted in high demand for beauty services. 

Consumers’ spending habits still loyal to local 

According to research by Dojo 57% of businesses stated that they feel their customers appreciate small businesses more, but 24% felt there had been no change. Adding to this, 70% chose to shop locally to support local businesses, whilst 62% state that they are closer to them and involve less travel.