UK retail trends – online up, high street down, ad-spend moving online

Data published by CityAM gives the following picture for November (see here and here):

  • Total consumer spend up 1.1% year on year
  • Driven by 4.1% increase in online spend – most notably on Black Friday
  • Whilst the High Street fell by 1.5%
  • Most growth is in categories which give benefits at the top of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (hotels, bars, restaurants, cinema, theatre, clothing and footwear) – although education dropped
  • Trends in ad spend mirror this picture – online is up and forecast to surpass TV spend in 2018 (online video is increasingly used to communicate brand messages in a way that was previously only possible on TV)
  • Mobile ad spend is also forecast to surpass desktop ad spend in 2018

All of this supports our strategy of investing in ecommerce and marketplace companies building products people love.