June’s mixed weather hinders the high-street, but boosts takeaways, subscriptions and entertainment

09 July 2024
  • Card spending fell for the first time since February 2021, as retailers were hampered by cold weather early in the month
  • Consumer cutbacks and falling food price inflation meant supermarket shopping saw its first decline since June 2022
  • Brits spent more on takeaways and digital content, as they tuned into series like ‘Bridgerton’ from the comfort of home and “streamflation” took effect
  • Entertainment businesses performed well and cinemas enjoyed their busiest day of the year on 15th June thanks to the release of Disney and Pixar's ‘Inside Out 2’
  • The Barclays Consumer Spend report combines hundreds of millions of customer transactions with consumer research to provide an in-depth view of UK spending

Consumer card spending fell -0.6 per cent year-on-year in June – the first decline since February 2021 and significantly lower than the latest CPIH inflation rate of 2.8 per cent – as colder weather early in the month hampered spending at clothing stores, pubs and garden centres. However, the combination of cooler temperatures and new TV releases such as ‘Bridgerton’ and ‘House of the Dragon’ boosted digital content and takeaways, while ‘Inside Out 2’ provided cinemas with a 122.4 per cent boost on the weekend of its release.

The cold in early June 2024, in contrast to 2023’s sunshine and warm weather, meant that retail spending fell by -2.6 per cent –  its most significant year-on-year drop since June 2022 (-3.8 per cent). High-street cutbacks meant in-store spending (excluding groceries) was down -5.1 per cent, while clothing sales declined -7.7 per cent year-on-year.

This comes as two in five (39 per cent) Brits said they have spent less than usual on summer products this year, due to the weather, with clothes (55 per cent) emerging as the most common cutback, followed by barbecue food and equipment (40 per cent).  Consumers also delayed home and garden renovations due to the cold snap, as spending on home improvements and DIY declined -9.4 per cent, while garden centres saw a steeper drop of -12.7 per cent.

Supermarket shopping slows                                         

Supermarket spending recorded its first decline (-2.6 per cent) in two years, which comes as the majority of consumers (65 per cent) say they’re cutting back on their weekly grocery expenditure. Over half (52 per cent) of these budget-conscious shoppers are looking out for loyalty scheme discounts and supermarket deals.

The slowdown can also be attributed to the drop in food price inflation, which has now fallen to its lowest level since October 2021 at 1.7 per cent. Encouragingly, over a third (36 per cent) of shoppers say they have noticed food prices have been rising at a slower rate in recent months.

“Insperiences” receive ‘Bridgerton’ boost, while The Euros prop up pubs

The gloomy weather did result in a positive month for “insperiences” (at-home experiences), up 5.3 per cent overall, helped by takeaways and fast food returning to growth (4.4 per cent) after declining in May (-0.2 per cent). Meanwhile, spending on digital content and subscriptions rose by 9.2 per cent, due to “streamflation” (the rising price of streaming subscriptions) taking effect, combined with the popularity of new series such as ‘House of the Dragon’ and ‘Bridgerton’.

Pubs, bars and clubs saw modest year-on-year growth in June (up 0.5 per cent), with the influx of sports fans watching The Euros outweighing the bad weather, and keeping the category on par with its strong performance in June last year.

However it was a tougher month for restaurants, which declined -11.5 per cent year-on-year, although this was an improvement on last month (-15.7 per cent), reflecting the selective approach cost-conscious consumers are taking to discretionary spending; over half (52 per cent) of those cutting back on non-essential spending are choosing to spend less on eating out at restaurants.

Brits still jet-setting and joy-seeking

The entertainment and travel sectors also enjoyed growth in June, mirroring new data from Barclays’ ‘All to play for: winning with experience’ report which revealed that experiences like travel and live entertainment are now taking up a greater share of Brits’ discretionary spending.

Entertainment rose 6.1 per cent, while cinemas enjoyed their busiest day of the year so far on 15th June, up 122.4 per cent in comparison to the average day in 2024, after the release of ‘Inside Out 2’ . Meanwhile, spending on holidays abroad continued to grow, with travel agents and airlines up 5.5 per cent and 3.2 per cent respectively, as some holidaymakers settled the final costs for their getaways. Overseas travel outpaced staycations, demonstrated by domestic hotels, resorts and accommodation recording a decline of -1.8 per cent.

This comes as 37 per cent of Brits say that when they go on holiday, they tend to spend more than they had planned to, while a fifth (20 per cent) adopt a “treat yourself” attitude when travelling.

Consistent consumer confidence

Encouragingly, while Brits maintain a steady approach to managing their budgets, consumer confidence showed signs of recovery compared to the previous month. Consumers feel more optimistic about their ability to live within their means (up to 73 per cent) and spend more on non-essential items (56 per cent), while confidence in job security increased four percentage points to 49 per cent. Meanwhile, concerns about inflation fell by one percentage point, to 85 per cent, while concerns about the rising cost of fuel eased, as spending on fuel declined -3.2 per cent.

Karen Johnson, Head of Retail at Barclays, said: “Once again, our data demonstrates the undeniable impact that unseasonable weather can have on consumer spending. The sluggish demand at the start of June even caused some fashion brands to adjust their sales schedules, although I was pleased to see that the situation has since improved with the arrival of sunnier days.  

“However, the dreariness didn’t dampen spending across the board, with takeaways, digital content and entertainment all benefitting from people sheltering at home, and hopefully we’ll see sustained interest in The Euros – regardless of England’s fate – and sunnier weather driving people to their local in July.”

Jack Meaning, Chief UK Economist at Barclays, said: “While June’s data suggests a weak month, the view looking ahead to the second half of the year, as we see it, is one of falling interest rates, growing real incomes, and increasing confidence among consumers to spend and businesses to invest, particularly now that the uncertainty of the general election is out of the way.”

Overall growth figures


Spend Growth

Transaction Growth




Non Essential


















·       Supermarkets



·       Food & Drink Specialist






·       Home Improvements & DIY



·       Electronics



·       Furniture Stores



·       Garden Centres



General Retailers



·       General Retailers & Catalogues



·       Department Stores



·       Discount Stores



Specialist Retailers



·       Pharmacy, Health & Beauty



·       Sports & Outdoor



·       Other Specialist Retailers



Hospitality & Leisure



Digital Content & Subscription



Eating & Drinking



·       Restaurants



·       Bars, Pubs & Clubs



·       Takeaways and Fast Food



·       Other Food & Drink






Hotels, Resorts & Accommodation






·       Travel Agents



·       Airlines



·       Public Transport



·       Other Travel












Other Services















Notes to editors

Established in 2014, Barclays issues a monthly press release commenting on consumer spending trends.

Across its issuing and acquiring businesses, Barclays sees nearly 40 per cent of the nation’s credit and debit card transactions, which provides us with unique insight into UK consumer spending. This press release is based on consumer card spending data from Barclays’ issuing business – i.e. Barclays debit card and Barclaycard credit card transactions. It relates to the period 20th May 2023 – 23rd June 2023 vs 18th May 2024 –21st June 2024.

The Barclays Consumer Spend research in this press release was carried out between 21st and 25th June 2024 by Opinium Research on behalf of Barclays. There were 2,000 respondents in each round of research, providing a representative sample of UK consumers by age, gender, region, and income group.

For more information, please contact Dee Fallon at deirdre.fallon@barclays.com

About Barclays

Our vision is to be the UK-centred leader in global finance.  We are a diversified bank with comprehensive UK consumer, corporate and wealth and private banking franchises, a leading investment bank and a strong, specialist US consumer bank.  Through these five divisions, we are working together for a better financial future for our customers, clients and communities.

For further information about Barclays, please visit our website home.barclays

About Barclays Market and Customer Insights

Barclays Market and Customer Insights helps businesses keep up to date with spending trends, monitors their market position and enhances their understanding of customer behaviour, based on actual customer spending. For further information, please email contact-MCI@barclays.com.