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The Leisure Outlook - UK - September 2019

What you need to know


Consumer spending in this quarter was all about selective splurging, as consumers prioritised items that they need to spend on, such as domestic appliances, their car, and their debts. Despite this, many people were still able to afford to treat themselves. In fact, more people went out for an expensive meal in the three months to July 2019 (23% versus 20% in July 2018) or to a concert/sporting event/theatre (22% versus 20% in July 2018; see Market Drivers).


The summer heatwave and the taking place of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup and Cricket World Cup boosted the foodservice sector during the last quarter, with around a third of British adults eating (32%) and drinking (31%) at pubs more than once in the month to July 2019 (see Leisure Activity Participation).

“Whereas the UK leisure economy benefitted from 2018’s summer heatwave and England’s run in the FIFA Men’s World Cup, participation in leisure activities has continued to increase in 2019 so far, with expenditure likely to follow. Whilst high employment levels and positive real wage growth has boosted sentiment, the coming months to the 31 October Brexit date will be the real test to the strength of this confidence.”
– Trish Caddy, Senior Foodservice Analyst

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Table of contents

  1. Key Findings

      • Consumer spending is all about selective splurging
        • Women's World Cup summer boost
          • J D Wetherspoon outperformed this quarter in terms of sales
            • This quarter outperformed in terms of participation levels
              • Fast food chains more upbeat
                • Punters were drawn-in by price promotions and online presence
                • Market Drivers

                  • UK consumers remain confident…
                    • Figure 1: Trends in how respondents would describe their financial situation, July 2010-July 2019
                  • …but consumers remain cautious when it comes to spending intentions
                    • Figure 2: Trends in what extra money is spent on, July 2017-July 2019
                  • More consumers are prioritising saving money
                    • Figure 3: Spending habits and intentions, July 2012-July 2019
                  • Britons plan to get out more
                  • Leisure Activity Participation

                    • Consumers relate value for money with quality
                        • Figure 4: Participation in leisure activities, July 2019
                    • Annual Changes in Participation

                      • Foodservice sector outperformed last year’s World Cup boost
                        • Figure 5: Participation in leisure activities, once a month or more, food and drink related, July 2016-July 2019
                      • Bumper quarter for non-food leisure activities
                          • Figure 6: Participation in leisure activities, once a month or more, non-food and drink related, July 2016-July 2019
                      • Spending on Leisure Activities

                        • Nightclubs vying for higher spend
                            • Figure 7: Leisure activity spend, July 2019
                        • Annual Changes in Spending

                          • Record exodus of low spenders
                            • Figure 8: Approximate leisure activity spend, July 2016-July 2019
                        • Pub Activities

                          • Consumers are using online information to identify best deals
                              • Figure 9: Pub/bar visitor behaviours, July 2016-July 2019
                          • What It Means

                            The Leisure Outlook - UK - September 2019

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