News: Consumer Spending over Easter, UK and USA

Retail Decisions (ReD), a world leader in payment fraud prevention, reported a hike in online home improvement purchases in both the UK and US ahead of the Easter Weekend. This rise suggests that the current economic fragility is leading consumers on both sides of the pond to tighten their belts and stay at home, this Easter.

Carl Clump, CEO of ReD says, “UK data shows more than a 60% increase in the number of online transactions for DIY products in the lead up to Easter this year versus the same period before Easter in 2009. Interestingly, UK online sales of DIY items were up three-fold during weekends in March and, moreover, the average value of each transaction also increased by GBP112 from GBP253 to GBP365. In the US, the rise in home improvement purchases over the internet was 44% but, conversely, the average transaction value decreased by $27 from to $240 to $213.”

Carl further comments, “There is a clear shift in consumer trends towards buying home improvement products online. Internet purchases allow customers to have the goods delivered directly to their door, both saving time and avoiding the Easter weekend rush at the tills. There is no wasted trip if an item is out of stock and there is the added advantage of online discounts and easy price comparisons.”

ReD’s data shows that the top two most popular home improvement activities in the UK were kitchen upgrades and bathroom remodelling. The third most popular product category was storage furniture and wardrobes. It seems that the weak housing market is prompting people to make their home environments more pleasant rather than relocating. The popularity of storage furniture appears to highlight that people are reorganising their homes to optimise the space they already have.

In the US, tools and garden furniture represent the top two product categories followed by garden plants.

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