Brexit result splits UK consumer spending behaviour, Coniq reports

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Consumer spend dropped by 20% following Brexit, according to Coniq, a European marketing insight platform for shopping centres.

With consumer confidence reportedly dipping to its lowest level in 22 years in July following the UK vote to leave the EU in June, shopper revenue fell by 20% in the two months following the Brexit decision.  Spend across the UK’s shopping centres was down 45% month-on-month between June and July 2016.

However, while overall spend was down in the UK’s shopping centres during July and August, in the same way the Brexit poll divided the opinions of voters, the fall out of the vote also divided the nation’s spending habits, data from Coniq reveals.

Shopping centres in areas which had a majority of Leave voters saw an increase in footfall during the weekend following the Brexit result (w/e 25/26 June 2016), with the number of visits up 97% against the average numbers in shopper traffic over May and June.  Buoyed by the result swinging in their favour, this spike in traffic over the weekend directly following the EU Referendum led to a 48% rise in revenue in shopping centres in Leave areas compared to the average spend during the previous two months before the vote.

The opposite was seen in constituencies where the majority voted Remain, with consumers shopping and spending less; centres in these areas experienced a 54% drop in revenue over the weekend following the EU Referendum compared to the previous two months before the poll.  Volume of transactions also fell by 45% in Remain areas during the same period.

Despite the polarising effect on consumer spend in the immediate aftermath of the Brexit vote, the total revenue from shopping centres across the UK has now normalised, with centres in both Leave and Remain areas performing similarly, as customers settle in the wake of EU Referendum result.  Total revenue across UK shopping centres in August were up 53% month-on-month.

Ben Chesser, founder and CEO at Coniq, commented: “The dramatic shifts in shopper behaviour we witnessed following the Brexit vote demonstrates the sensitive nature of consumer confidence and the effects of change on spending habits.  It’s imperative for retailers and shopping centres alike to be prepared for changes associated with these transactional trends.  This means that both centres and brands need to ensure they are able to effectively communicate with their customers, and be prepared to incentivise repeat store visits, no matter what is happening within the wider political landscape.”