Sales surge for specialist food and drink as consumers support local businesses

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

Local food stores such as butchers have seen a boom in trade
Local food stores such as butchers have seen a boom in trade

Related tags coronavirus

Sales in specialist food and drink stores, including off-licences and greengrocers, increased by 37.7% in April as shoppers focused on supporting local businesses, new statistics from Barclaycard have revealed.

More than half of Brits (57%) said the current situation had made them realise how much they valued these stores, which also included independent convenience stores, butchers and bakeries. 

As a result, UK adults were planning to spend more in local retailers, including butchers (27%), cafés and restaurants (26 %) and farmers’ markets (23%) when restrictions were lifted, the study found.

This news came as consumer spending contracted by 36.5% year-on-year in April, showing the impact of ongoing social distancing measures.

Sales boost

Data from Barclaycard, which sees nearly half of the nation’s credit and debit card transactions, revealed that supermarkets continued to see a boost in sales, climbing by 14.3% as Brits made larger shops and prepared more meals at home. 

Online spend for eating and drinking – which included takeaways – also saw growth of 24.6% as diners treated themselves, while also helping to support local restaurants.  

Overall home improvement and DIY declined by 42.7% but online spend in this category increased by 26.5% accounting for 86.1% of purchases.

Esme Harwood, director at Barclaycard, said: “It has been a tough time for retailers as consumer spending has dropped considerably under lockdown. 


“A renewed sense of community may be welcome news for independent businesses, with a growing desire to support local stores in life after lockdown.”

This news comes as the latest statistics indicated that much of the public would still be eating at home even after restrictions were lifted.

CGA’s latest BrandTrack survey of more than 5,000 consumers revealed that fewer than a quarter of adults would be comfortable going out to eat and drink again as soon as Government restrictions were lifted, ranging from just 20% happy to go into a bar to 23% entering a restaurant.


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