By SUSANNA STREETER
The Euros kicked off a period of celebration as the national teams crossed the tournament and fans splashed out on food and alcohol.
Beer, pizza and grills blew off the shelves, increasing grocery store spending by 4.2%. This was a turnaround compared to May when the reopening of the indoor restaurant resulted in a decline in retail grocery sales.
The volatility of our spending pattern has continued as clothing spending went back out of style and volume fell 4.8%. In many households, the love of football seems to have overtaken the passion for other hobbies by June.
With the eyes glued to screens for matches, the love of the do-it-yourselfer seems to have waned. Housewares stores posted a 10.9% drop in sales in June, although supply chain issues that led to shortages of popular goods on store shelves could also be responsible for the May decline.
However, total spending on furniture and household items is still 15.8% above its pre-pandemic levels, suggesting that many people are cleaning up their blocks, in part because they still spend so much more time at home.
A new ethical trend in shopping appears to be emerging as spending in charity stores is a large part of the 8.6% growth in other non-food stores. With so many people clearing out popular items, shop shoppers hunt for bargains in stores attracted by the triple benefits of supporting a good cause, cutting waste, and shedding pounds.
The novelty of browsing real instead of virtual stores has not yet waned. The amount we spent online was down 4.7% in June compared to May, with shopping now back in our social life.
Other research by the ONS this week showed that buyers in July continued to cool from the sector’s high spending pace in the spring. In the week ending July 15, 2021, debit and credit card spending declined 5 percentage points from the previous week to 92% of February 2020 levels. A decline in social spending is partly behind the decline, and people splashed less cash for restaurants, hotels and air travel.
People are obviously tired of playing the traffic light guessing game and many have given up plans to go on vacation abroad.
Delayed spending on goods like clothing and cars is also at 85% of February 2020 levels, suggesting caution is back on the agenda as concerns about the proliferation of new varieties rise.
The data suggests that assets for Main Street are rising a little as more customers return, in part because the football fever has subsided.
The latest ONS economic report highlights Springboard research, which shows that visitor footfall in the High Streets saw a 3% weekly increase in the week ending July 17, the first increase since early June 2021 and back to 70 % of pre-pandemic levels increased.
But retail parks remain the most popular place to inject money. Visitor frequency outside the city centers has recovered to 99% of the level seen before the crisis broke out.