Decline in high street footfall contributed to fall in November leisure spending, Greene King study suggests

Greene King's latest Leisure Spend Tracker survey has revealed a fall in spend during November.

Greene King's latest Leisure Spend Tracker survey has revealed a fall in spend during November. - Credit: Archant

Britons have cut back on their leisure spending in the run up to Christmas, according to research carried out for pubs and brewing company Greene King.

But rather than just representing a pause for breath before the annual round of festive celebrations, the study suggests that the reduced leisure spend could reflect a change in retail patterns.

The latest Greene King Leisure Spend Tracker report shows that average household spending on out-of-home leisure last month totalled £188, £17 or 8% lower compared with October and also £5 or 2% down on November last year.

Month-on-month, the decrease was led by 15% fall in spending on Drinking Out compared with October, although spending in the Eating Out and Other Leisure categories was also down, by 7% and 6% respectively.

Spending on Drinking Out and Eating Out was also lower year-on-year, by 8% and 7% respectively, although spending on Other Leisure was unchanged.

The month-on-month decline partly reflects strong leisure spending in October, due to factors including the Rugby World Cup, the school half-term holiday and Halloween, and may also indicate consumers exercising a degree of caution ahead of Christmas and the New Year).

However, with online sales having represented the largest ever share of retail spending during November, driven by Black Friday promotions, footfall on Britain’s high streets was down and this is also thought to have contributed to less being spent on lunches, dinners and drinks out during the month.

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Fiona Gunn, Greene King group marketing director, said: “With the Christmas festivities fast-approaching, Brits tightened their belts in November, reducing their spending on Drinking and Eating Out compared to last month.

“This was exacerbated further by a particularly busy October, when households up and down the country were going out to enjoy the closing stages of the Rugby World Cup and celebrate Halloween.”

Bury St Edmunds-based Greene King is a member of the EADT/EDP Top 100 listing of the 100 biggest companies in Suffolk and Norfolk and, following its acquisition of the Spirit Pub Company earlier this year, is now the UK’s largest operator of directly managed pubs.

The Leisure Spend Track forms part of research carried out for Greene King by market research company YouGov and analysed by consumer insight specialist Trajectory.