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UK Seasonal Shopping (Spring/Summer) market report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Seasonal Shopping (Spring/Summer) market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry and how fast are its rates of growth? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Areas covered in this report

This Report covers the four major events in the Spring/Summer months: Easter, Mother’s and Father’s Day and Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s Day technically falls in the winter season but has been included within this Report because of the timing of our consumer research.

For each of these events we provide an estimated market size along with in-depth consumer research, which focuses on:

  • Which products consumers are purchasing for each of these events
  • Where consumers are shopping for each of these events
  • On average how much consumers spend on gifts for these events
  • How far in advance consumers start planning for these events
  • Consumer attitudes towards these events

Given that a majority of the UK’s bank holidays are held in these Spring/Summer months, from March to August, we also conducted research to understand which type of leisure activities and shopping behaviours they engage with during bank holidays.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Samantha Dover, a leading analyst in the Retail sector, her extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Despite a distinct lack of enthusiasm among UK consumers, the market value of the major spring/summer retail events continued to rise in 2017, with spending reaching an estimated £2.2 billion. The growth in consumer spending was driven by increased average spend per customer, with Valentine’s Day shoppers in particular spending significantly more in 2017. However, attitudes towards the spring/summer events are largely negative and to continue to grow seasonal sales retailers will need to offset this negativity with innovative products alongside engaging campaigns and in-store events. Samantha Dover
Retail Analyst

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Products covered in this Report
      • Executive Summary

          • The Market
            • Consumers spend £7.3 billion celebrating seasonal events
              • Figure 1: Estimated consumer spending on the spring/summer retail events, by type of spending, 2018
            • Retail sales grow throughout 2018
              • Figure 2: Annual percentage change in all retail sales (excluding fuel) at current prices, non-seasonally adjusted, by month, 2016-18
            • The effect of The Royal Wedding and FIFA World Cup
              • Figure 3: Value of retail sales (excluding fuel) at current prices, non-seasonally adjusted, by spring/summer months, 2016-18
            • Online accounts for greater proportion of retail sales
              • Figure 4: Online retail sales as a percentage of all retail sales, by month, 2016-18
            • Companies and Brands
              • Advertising spend decreased 0.7%
                • Emotive messages promoting inclusivity
                  • The Consumer
                    • Easter most purchased-for event in 2018
                      • Figure 5: Consumers that bought or spent money on gifts and activities for the spring/summer events in 2018, February-June 2018
                    • Spending on gifts highest amongst Valentine’s shoppers
                      • Figure 6: Average amount spent on gifts and activities for the spring/summer events in 2018, February-June 2018
                    • Most still shop in-store for gifts
                      • Figure 7: How consumers shopped for gifts for the spring/summer events in 2018, February-June 2018
                    • Consumer are willing to shop around
                      • Retail sales boosted by Royal Wedding hype
                        • Figure 8: Attitudes towards The Royal Wedding in 2018, May 2018
                      • World Cup Fever hits the UK
                        • Figure 9: What consumers did during the FIFA World Cup in 2018, July 2018
                      • What we think
                      • Issues and Insights

                        • Can retailers drive spring/summer sales with more focus on experiences?
                          • The facts
                            • The implications
                              • Could retailers do more to boost Father’s Day engagement?
                                • The facts
                                  • The implications
                                    • The Royal Wedding
                                      • Could retailers do more to attract shoppers interested in special events such as The Royal Wedding?
                                        • The facts
                                          • The implications
                                          • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                            • Spending on the annual spring/summer events reaches £7.3 billion
                                              • Consumer confidence dips at the end of spring/summer 2018
                                                • Spring/summer months account for 46% of all retail sales
                                                  • Retail sales continue to grow in 2018
                                                  • Market Size and Segmentation

                                                    • Spring/summer events worth over £4.0 billion to UK retailers
                                                      • Figure 10: Estimated consumer spending on the spring/summer seasonal retail events, 2018
                                                    • Spending on leisure activities reaches £3.25 billion in 2018
                                                      • Figure 11: Estimated consumer spending on the spring/summer retail events, by type of spending, 2018
                                                    • Dining in drives spending on products
                                                      • Figure 12: Estimated breakdown of consumer spending on gifts and other products for the spring/summer retail events, 2018
                                                    • Consumers spend most on leisure activities for Easter
                                                      • Figure 13: Estimated breakdown of consumer spending on leisure activities for the spring/summer retail events, 2018
                                                  • Market Drivers

                                                    • An aging population shaping the market
                                                      • Figure 14: Trends in the age structure of the UK population, 2017-27
                                                      • Figure 15: Breakdown of trends in the age structure of the UK population, 2017-27
                                                    • Real wage growth outpaces inflation
                                                      • Figure 16: Real wage growth – Average weekly earnings vs inflation, January 2015-June 2018
                                                    • Consumer confidence dips at the end of spring/summer 2018
                                                      • Figure 17: Consumer financial confidence, January 2016-August 2018
                                                    • Going out for a meal more popular than an indulgent evening in
                                                      • Figure 18: Trends in what extra money is spent on, August 2018
                                                    • Increase in m-commerce
                                                      • Figure 19: Trend data: devices used to shop online, April 2017 and April 2018
                                                    • The gender pay gap slowly declines
                                                      • Figure 20: Median gross hourly earnings (excluding overtime) for full-time employees by sex, UK, 2011-17
                                                    • Lone mother families drive spending
                                                      • Figure 21: Lone mother families compared to lone father families, 2015-17
                                                  • Retail Sales Across The Year

                                                    • Autumn largest season for retailers
                                                      • Figure 22: Value of all retail sales (excluding fuel) at current prices, non-seasonally adjusted, by season, 2017
                                                    • Retail sales continue to grow in November
                                                      • Figure 23: Value of all retail sales (excluding fuel) at current prices, non-seasonally adjusted, by month, 2016-18
                                                    • Food sales fall after early Easter
                                                      • Figure 24: Value of leading category retail sales at current prices, non-seasonally adjusted, by month, 2016-18
                                                    • Retail sales continue to grow in 2018
                                                      • Figure 25: Annual percentage change in all retail sales (excluding fuel) at current prices, non-seasonally adjusted, by month, 2016-18
                                                    • Clothing and footwear boosted by hot weather
                                                      • Figure 26: Annual percentage change in leading category retail sales at current prices, non-seasonally adjusted, by month, 2018
                                                    • Spring/summer months in focus
                                                      • Figure 27: Value of retail sales (excluding fuel) at current prices, non-seasonally adjusted, by spring/summer months, 2016-18
                                                  • Online Retail Sales Across the Year

                                                    • Autumn season continues to hold highest share of online retail sales
                                                      • Figure 28: Value of all online retail sales at current prices, non-seasonally adjusted, by season, 2017
                                                    • Christmas drives online sales in late 2017
                                                      • Figure 29: Value of all online retail sales at current prices, non-seasonally adjusted, by month, 2017-18
                                                    • Online accounts for biggest share of all retail in November
                                                      • Figure 30: Online retail sales as a percentage of all retail sales, by month, 2016-18
                                                      • Figure 31: Online retail sales as a percentage of all retail sales, by category, by month, 2016-18
                                                    • Spring/summer months show consistent growth
                                                      • Figure 32: Value of online retail sales at current prices, non-seasonally adjusted, by spring/summer months, 2016-18
                                                  • Companies and Brands – What You Need to Know

                                                    • Advertising spend down 0.7% spring/summer 2018
                                                      • Emotive messages placed at the centre of campaigns
                                                        • Opportunity for retailers to challenge gender stereotypes
                                                          • Royal Wedding and World Cup boost fashion industry
                                                          • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                            • Peter Rabbit takes the spotlight for Easter 2018
                                                              • Retailers utilise the power of social media
                                                                • Emotive messages placed at the heart of seasonal campaigns
                                                                  • Product marketing remains gender focussed
                                                                      • Figure 33: Lush Father’s Day Bath Bomb, 2018
                                                                    • The Gareth Southgate effect
                                                                      • Nigeria win most stylish World Cup team
                                                                        • A Royal Wedding frenzy
                                                                          • Figure 34: Boohoo high neck split front maxi dress, 2018
                                                                          • Figure 35: Morrisons Royal Wedding Cake, 2018
                                                                      • Advertising Spend Across the Year

                                                                          • Figure 36: Total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure by all retailers, by month, 2017
                                                                          • Figure 37: Annual percentage change in total above-the line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure by all retailers, by month, 2017
                                                                        • November continues to be the biggest month for advertising expenditure
                                                                          • Figure 38: Recorded above-the-line, online display and direct mail total advertising expenditure by all retailers, monthly as a % of total spending, 2017
                                                                        • Press marketing continues to decline
                                                                          • Figure 39: Recorded above-the-line, online display and direct mail total advertising expenditure by all retailers, by advertising method, 2017
                                                                          • Figure 40: Recorded above-the-line, online display and direct mail total advertising expenditure by all retailers, 2013-17
                                                                        • Spring/summer in focus
                                                                          • Figure 41: Recorded above-the-line, online display and direct mail total advertising expenditure by all retailers during the spring and summer months, 2016-18
                                                                          • Figure 42: Recorded above-the-line, online display and direct mail total advertising expenditure by all retailers during the spring and summer months (March-August), by media type, 2014-18
                                                                        • Supermarket spending around Easter
                                                                          • Figure 43: Recorded above-the-line, online display and direct mail total advertising expenditure on Easter products by selected leading supermarket retailers, 2014-18
                                                                        • Nielsen Ad Intel coverage
                                                                        • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                          • Easter over-took Mother’s Day as most purchased for retail event
                                                                            • Young most likely to spend on celebratory activities
                                                                              • Men are still spending considerably more on Valentine’s Day gifts
                                                                                • Valentine’s Day activity spending highest amongst 16-34-year-old males
                                                                                  • In-store purchasing of gifts is most popular for Easter
                                                                                    • Valentine’s Day shoppers most impulsive
                                                                                      • Young males influenced by the Royal Wedding
                                                                                        • Opportunities for sports retailers to offer more female-targeted product
                                                                                        • What Gifts They Buy

                                                                                          • Technical note
                                                                                            • Easter is the most purchased for spring/summer event
                                                                                              • Figure 44: Gift purchasing for the spring/summer events in 2018, February-June 2018
                                                                                            • One in two buy chocolate as a gift for Easter
                                                                                                • Figure 45: Gift purchasing for the spring/summer events in 2018, by product category, February-June 2018
                                                                                              • Men more likely to buy gifts for Valentine’s Day
                                                                                                • Figure 46: Gift purchasing for the spring/summer events in 2018, by gender, February-June 2018
                                                                                              • Mother’s Day purchasing peaks amongst 16-34-year-olds
                                                                                                • Figure 47: Gift purchasing for the spring/summer events in 2018, by age, February-June 2018
                                                                                              • Affluent most likely to purchase gifts for seasonal retail events
                                                                                                • Figure 48: Gift purchasing for the spring/summer events in 2018, socio-economic status, February-June 2018
                                                                                              • Most buy one type of gift
                                                                                                • Figure 49: Repertoire of products purchased for the spring/summer events in 2018, February-June 2018
                                                                                            • What Activities They Do

                                                                                              • Over a third spent on leisure activities to celebrate Easter
                                                                                                • Figure 50: Consumers that bought or spent money on activities for the spring/summer events in 2018, February-June 2018
                                                                                              • Dining in and out most popular activities
                                                                                                • Figure 51: Activity spending for the spring/summer events in 2018, February-June 2018
                                                                                              • Staycations popular for Easter
                                                                                                • Figure 52: Consumers that spent money on a trip/night away for Easter 2018, by where they went, April 2018
                                                                                              • Men do more activities for Mother’s Day
                                                                                                • Figure 53: Consumers that bought or spent money on activities for the spring/summer events in 2018, by gender, February-June 2018
                                                                                              • Young most engaged with seasonal events
                                                                                                • Figure 54: Consumers that bought or spent money on activities for the spring/summer events in 2018, by age, February-June 2018
                                                                                              • Young prefer to dine out for Valentine’s Day
                                                                                                • Figure 55: Consumers that bought or spent money on activities for the spring/summer events in 2018, by age and what they did, February-June 2018
                                                                                              • Most do one activity for seasonal events
                                                                                                • Figure 56: Repertoire of what activities consumers bought or spent money on for the spring/summer events in 2018, February-June 2018
                                                                                                • Figure 57: Repertoire of what activities consumers bought or spent money on for Easter in 2018, April 2018
                                                                                            • What They Spend on Gifts

                                                                                              • Consumers spent the most on Valentine’s Day gifts
                                                                                                • Figure 58: Average amount spent on gifts for the spring/summer events in 2018, February-June 2018
                                                                                              • Men spent more on gifts across the board
                                                                                                • Figure 59: Average amount spent on gifts for the spring/summer events in 2018, by gender, February -June 2018
                                                                                              • Young consumers spend more on Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day
                                                                                                • Figure 60: Average amount spent on gifts for the spring/summer events in 2018, by age, February-June 2018
                                                                                              • Affluent spend considerably more
                                                                                                • Figure 61: Average amount spent on gifts for the spring/summer events in 2018, by socio-economic status, February-June 2018
                                                                                            • What They Spend on Activities

                                                                                              • Consumers spend more on Easter activities
                                                                                                • Figure 62: Average amount spent on activities for the spring/summer events in 2018, February-June 2018
                                                                                              • Men spend considerably more than women
                                                                                                • Figure 63: Average amount spent on activities for the spring/summer events in 2018, by gender, February-June 2018
                                                                                              • Valentine’s Day spending peaks amongst 16-34s
                                                                                                • Figure 64: Average amount spent on activities for the spring/summer events in 2018, by age, February-June 2018
                                                                                            • Where They Shop for Gifts

                                                                                              • Less consumers shop online for Easter gifts
                                                                                                • Figure 65: How consumers shopped for gifts for the spring/summer events in 2018, February-June 2018
                                                                                              • Supermarkets popular amongst gift shoppers
                                                                                                  • Figure 66: Where consumers shopped for gifts for the spring/summer events in 2018, February-June 2018
                                                                                                • Most shop at one retailer
                                                                                                  • Figure 67: Repertoire of products purchased for seasonal events in 2018, by demographics, February-June 2018
                                                                                              • Attitudes towards the Spring/Summer Events

                                                                                                • High-levels of impulse purchasing for Valentine’s Day
                                                                                                  • Figure 68: Valentine’s Day shopping behaviours, February 2018
                                                                                                • Mother’s Day consumers shop at the last minute
                                                                                                  • Figure 69: Mother’s Day shopping behaviours, March 2018
                                                                                                • Easter shoppers feel the least pressured
                                                                                                  • Figure 70: Easter shopping behaviours, February 2018
                                                                                                • Social media provides gift inspiration for Father’s Day
                                                                                                  • Figure 71: Father’s Day shopping behaviours, June 2018
                                                                                              • The Royal Wedding

                                                                                                • A third intended to watch The Royal Wedding
                                                                                                  • Figure 72: Consumers that planned to watch The Royal Wedding in 2018, May 2018
                                                                                                • Most planned to watch at home
                                                                                                  • Figure 73: Where consumers planned to watch The Royal Wedding in 2018, by age, May 2018
                                                                                                • The FA Cup Final was a distraction
                                                                                                  • Figure 74: What consumers planned to do on the day of The Royal Wedding in 2018, by gender, May 2018
                                                                                                • A boost to British patriotism
                                                                                                  • Retailers capitalise on hype
                                                                                                    • The Royal Family and their influence on fashion
                                                                                                      • Figure 75: Attitudes towards The Royal Wedding in 2018, May 2018
                                                                                                  • The FIFA World Cup

                                                                                                    • Highest participation with young consumers
                                                                                                      • Figure 76: What consumers did during the FIFA World Cup in 2018, July 2018
                                                                                                    • Scope for retailers appeal to a female audience around the World Cup
                                                                                                        • Figure 77: What consumers did during the FIFA World Cup in 2018, by gender, July 2018
                                                                                                      • Younger consumers drive World Cup sales
                                                                                                        • Figure 78: What consumers did during the FIFA World Cup in 2018, by age, July 2018
                                                                                                      • Young males the largest demographic that avoided the World Cup
                                                                                                        • Figure 79: Consumers that did another leisure activity to avoid the FIFA World Cup in 2018, July 2018
                                                                                                    • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                        • Abbreviations
                                                                                                          • Consumer research methodology