Coronavirus: Brits have spent over £40bn to 'lift their spirits' in lockdown

·Writer
Shoppers say purchases have made lockdown 'more enjoyable.' Photo: Tim Goode/PA Wire/PA Images
Shoppers say purchases have made lockdown 'more enjoyable.' Photo: Tim Goode/PA Wire/PA Images

Brits have spent £40.6bn ($51.7bn) trying to “have fun at home” during the COVID-19 lockdown, new figures show.

The average UK adult has spent £771 on non-essential items since lockdown began on 23 March, according to a survey of over 2,000 people by card payment service Barclaycard Payments.

Men have splashed out significantly more than women, spending an average £1,014 each, compared with just £572 each, the study found.

A third of shoppers said these purchases have made their lockdown experience “more enjoyable” — as nearly three in 10 (28%) said they purposefully selected things that would make them or members of their household happy.

According to the data, Londoners are the highest-spending group, with purchases amounting to £2,812 each.

READ MORE: Half of Brits say they can't stop online shopping in lockdown

However, those with children under 18 followed closely behind, spending £2,070 each.

Takeaways (24%), summer clothes (19%), plants and flowers (16%), baking ingredients (15%), and spirits (13%) were the most-popular purchases Brits said they have made over the past three months.

Slightly more bizarre items included a piece of the moon, an inflatable pub, an antique diving suit and a Penny Farthing.

Brits said they feel little to no “buyer’s remorse” about these purchases, with eight in 10 shoppers planning to keep all the items they’ve bought. Only 6% said they regret wasting their money.

What’s more, almost half of Brits (47%) said every single thing they bought has been “useful.”

However, one in five said they will probably donate at least one of these purchases to charity in the future. With an estimated value of about £65.90 per donation, this equates to £543m worth of goods given to charities across the UK over the upcoming months.

A third of those who plan to donate said it’s “time to pass on [their items] for someone else to enjoy.” Meanwhile, a quarter said items are “taking too much space”, and 21% are bored with their purchase.

READ MORE: Brits pushed further into debt in lockdown

“Being at home for such an extended period of time meant that Brits became imaginative with how they spent their money. Whether it was to keep themselves or their families entertained, people have emerged from lockdown with an impressive array of quarantine buys,” said Kirsty Morris at Barclaycard Payments.

“From little luxuries to big investments, the nation sought out the things that would bring them happiness and provide entertainment at home.

“Many of the items bought have also encouraged people to take up new hobbies, but perhaps more importantly, were successful in making such an unusual period, that little bit more enjoyable.”