Future data reveals Brits saved over £245 billion in lockdown – and now they’re ready to spend it

Future plc, the global platform for specialist media, has today released a deep industry analysis of post-lockdown purchasing power, revealing that Brits have amassed over £245 billion in savings, with 25% of that expected to be spent immediately or soon after lockdown ends.

The research, based on a survey in March 2021 of 2,000 UK respondents – all recruited independently via Future PLC’s research platform The Lens – included over 20 in-depth questions about financial situations, future spending plans, inspiration sources and passions. The sample is nationally representative for the UK, with % split ensured for gender, geography, age and social class. Of this sample, 54% of respondents are Future readers. 

The analysis reveals that 81% of Future’s readers have saved money in the past 12 months, compared to a national average of 77%. With the average household savings reaching £4,808, there is significant purchase potential across the UK. Almost half (45%) of all respondents have already started to research their planned purchases, with 57% of spend happening between April and June. Online will continue to be an important shopping channel, with 86% saying they’ll continue to shop online post-pandemic and just 11% saying they don’t enjoy online shopping at all.

More than three-quarters (76%) of post-lockdown purchases will be in some way related to passions or hobbies, such as cycling holidays, attending a football match, and investing in new equipment for training. While spending on holidays, travelling and going to pubs and restaurants featured highest (53% and 42% respectively), consumers will also continue to spend on the items that saw popularity during lockdown, including home decoration (11%), garden products (10%), and personal and home technology (10% and 9% respectively). 

More than half of Future’s audience (54%) plan to treat others as well as themselves, which is higher than the UK average of 48%. When asked about their reasons for spending, 29% cited ‘to celebrate being ‘back to normal’ post-lockdown’ and 25% said ’we went through a hard time, we deserve a treat.’ Meanwhile, three-fifths (58%) are more financially aware and will think twice before spending; 47% of Future’s readers will consult trusted websites and 43% will consider professional online reviews and recommendations. 

“It goes without saying the publishing industry has been heavily affected by the pandemic. For Future, our already proven content commerce model and our ability to react quickly to changing consumer demand has seen engagement rise and audiences increase. With Future readers accounting for approximately £141 billion of the estimated £245 billion saved by UK consumers during lockdown, we have access to a high-intent audience, representing significant value to advertisers in the next few months,” said Zillah Byng-Thorne, CEO at Future plc.