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£117bn leisure sector growing ‘twice as fast’ as retail

By Jak Phillips    04 Jul 2016
Operators can control what they sell and what they charge to maximise sales

The UK leisure market is now worth £117bn in annual revenue and is growing nearly twice as quickly as the retail sector, according to a new report from Deloitte.

The Passion for leisure: A view on the UK leisure consumer document finds that the leisure industry has made healthy progress in the wake of the global recession, with annual growth of five per cent since 2010.

Based on economic data and a survey of 3,000 UK consumers, the report highlights increased appetite for habitual leisure activities such as going to the gym and eating out. It also flags a growing preference towards spending on experiences over products.

“A confluence of factors, including low inflation and high employment levels, has boosted consumers’ spending on leisure in recent years,” said Simon Oaten, partner for hospitality and leisure at Deloitte.

“We are witnessing an evolution in the mind-set of the leisure consumer; a behavioural shift from product-consumption to experience-consumption. Healthy high streets are those that have retail stores interspersed with leisure, such as cafés and restaurants that attract footfall.”

Although rosy in recent times, the outlook for the leisure sector in the wake of last month’s Brexit vote is now less clear. The result of the EU referendum has led to uncertainty which may impact a leisure sector reliant on discretionary spending, says the report. In the longer term, the impact of leaving the EU will largely depend on the terms of the exit and its effect on consumers, employees and investors.

“The UK leisure sector has proven to be relatively robust in the face of recent economic shocks, supported by the growth of habitual leisure spend, as UK consumers have chosen to prioritise their spending in this area,” added Oaten.

“Given the recent result of the referendum, it is now more important than ever that we understand and monitor the performance of the UK leisure sector, treating it as a barometer of consumer confidence.”

leisure sector  Deloitte  retail  Brexit  spending 
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