Golfers tee up spending frenzy! Sports shops are doing a roaring trade

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Almost two years of Covid woes and lockdowns have helped takings surge at sports and leisure shops.

Golf has proved especially popular as players sought an escape from living within four walls.

Sales of bags and clubs have been 50 per cent higher this year than they were in pre-pandemic 2019. 

The figures, produced by Barclaycard, come from an analysis of how Covid has changed our spending patterns.

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‘Sports and outdoor retailers were a bright spot as the reopening of gyms and golf courses encouraged sports fans to spend more time exercising,’ said the credit card giant.

‘The category rose 21.9 per cent overall, with golf clubs having a particularly positive year – up 50.2 per cent.’

The boom for home improvement as people spruced up their homes after periods of lockdown also continued from 2020 into the past year.

Jose Carvalho, head of consumer products at Barclaycard, said: ‘2021 was another challenging year, as the pandemic continued to hamper the UK economy.

‘However, categories such as local food retailers, takeaways and digital entertainment continued to do well, thanks to Brits’ demand for convenient, local and at-home shopping experiences.

‘In addition, with more time spent working from home, Brits continued to invest in their households, resulting in strong growth for both DIY and pet stores.’

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The data from Barclaycard showed that homeowners splashed out more on their properties, with spending on home improvements and DIY up 26.2% and furniture 19.8% higher.

Consumers also brought more pets into their homes, resulting in a 29.1% jump in spending on vets and pet retailers.

The boom in staycations saw UK hotels and resorts bounce back in the summer, with 3.7% growth in June and 15.9% in August.

Clare Bailey, founder of the Retail Champion, said: ‘It is encouraging to see that many categories have enjoyed growth in what has been another turbulent year.

‘Local shops continue to be supported by community-spirited Brits, while sports, clothing and health and beauty retailers all saw uplifts as the nation enjoyed post-lockdown life.

‘While the economic impact of Omicron remains to be seen, we can admire the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors for once again adapting to ever-evolving circumstances and overcoming so many challenges this year.’

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