Research and Reports

Worldpay UK payments report

Worldpay Editorial Team

January 30, 2019

The three consumer spending trends driving the UK economy

In the past five years there have been many challenges impacting UK businesses, with consumer behaviour driving change across industries. In the UK, Worldpay’s payments platform supports thousands of businesses, millions of consumers, and billions of transactions, giving us with a unique view of consumer spend. 

Worldpay have analysed five years’ worth of card payment data to identify how consumer spend behaviour has impacted the performance of five key industry sectors: retail, grocery, bars and restaurants, leisure and culture, and travel.

The key trends we identified were:

Experience led

with less focus on discretionary retail, consumers are building memories with experiences.


many sectors have seen phenomenal online growth which is driven by consumer desire for convenience, we look at what that means for businesses in-store

Credit economy

with tighter budgets, we have seen consumer spend on credit card increase in essential retail, with a shift in how consumers’ purchase in specific sectors.

Mini reports

TREND 1 Experience led

  • Overall spend is shifting away from traditional retail
  • Consumer experience is now more important than ever for retailers
  • Expectations of store experience are rapidly evolving

TREND 2 Digitalisation

  • New technology is unlocking greater consumer convenience
  • eCommerce continues to transform all retail sectors
  • Advances in card payment are transforming customer experience

TREND 3 Credit economy

  • Squeezed consumers continue to feel the pinch
  • Consumers are still earning less and need more flexibility
  • The bar & restaurant sector feels the negative impact the strongest

Sector portraits

  • A five-year analysis of card payment data across five key sectors
  • How consumer trends have impacted overall performance
  • Sectors: grocery, bars & restaurants, leisure & culture, travel, retail