Heading into January general consumer confidence had been on a rising trend amid renewed political stability and optimism around Brexit. Although negativity has not quite yet descended back to the level it was during last year’s Brexit wrangling, fears about Coronavirus have seen this improving trend from the start of the year switch back into reverse.
It was the week to March 15th that saw worries about the impact of the virus on people’s spending really begin to rise, as it rapidly became understood just how serious this situation was. Most recently, in the week to March 29th, concerns fell slightly, as the Government made unprecedented interventions in the economy in order to protect people’s income. Nevertheless, this is not seen as a good time to be spending, particularly on large purchases.
While improving weather and more time at home meant enthusiasm for Gardening went up, DIY so far appears to have come further down the pecking order of ‘isolation activities’. Where shoppers have DIYed, they have often used tools and equipment they already owned, and stuck to smaller tasks that have long been on their to do list.
In terms of shopping, there was a degree of stockpiling before full lockdown which helped boost demand before the tightened restrictions saw sales plummet (although online demand is considerably up on last year). When choosing where to shop, convenience was the overriding priority.
The lockdown and restrictions on stores will inevitably have a hugely detrimental impact on April and the key Easter shopping period but, with consumers becoming increasingly bored while confined to their homes, online sales (of smaller products) are at least likely to be extremely robust.
This report gives a short overview of some of the trends stemming from the Coronavirus crisis, particularly in terms of spending on home improvement and gardening; it is based on an online survey of 1,696 UK consumers, census representative in terms of gender, age and region, conducted in February and March 2020.
2. Report Summary
3. Confidence in Economy
4. Brexit attitudes
5. Coronavirus impact by week
6. Confidence to spend
7. Impact of weather
8. Behavioural changes due to CV
9. Activities done in isolation
10. Attitudes to DIY & G
11. Motivations for doing DIY
12. DIY activity breakdown