Brits treat themselves - and their four legged friends - in post lockdown spending boost

New data from Santander UK Retailer Offers1, shows a 19% reduction in online spending as people make the most of hair and beauty services, shops, restaurants, and gyms reopening. As pandemic restrictions ease and Brits begin spending their money and time differently, Santander has launched a number of new Retailer Offers to help people earn cashback on the high street. 

After months of DIY, shopping and leisure time online, spending data from 9 million Santander debit cards comparing spending pre and post lockdown2 shows how spending has changed as lockdown eases:

  • 10% reduction in spending at hardware stores 
  • 62% reduction in spending on betting and lottery tickets 
  • 20% reduction in spending across digital goods like games, apps and catalogues

As we get out and about more, lots of us are treating ourselves – and our four-legged friends – to a wardrobe refresh and makeover.

  •  101% increase in spending at pet shops (perhaps all those new pandemic pets are getting ready to meet friends and family post lockdown)
  • Across the board, spending on clothing increased by 158%, with the biggest jump in family clothing stores (247%) 
  • 195% increase at shoe shops 
  • 1000% increase in the volume of transactions at barber and beauty shops3

 Unsurprisingly, lots of us have been enjoying socialising in person as pubs and restaurants open for outside service. 

  • Bars and pubs recording a 1746% increase in the first week restrictions eased4 
  • 51% increase in spending on eating out 
  • Tourist attractions and exhibits are proving popular too, with spending up by 248% 

In a positive sign for charities who have been hit hard by the pandemic, spending has doubled at charity shops as consumers return to the high street (100% increase).

The data from Santander UK Retailer Offers shows that since restrictions began to ease on April 12, the biggest growth of overall instore spending was in London, Yorkshire and the North East, with customers in the West Midlands and London particularly keen to get back to the gym. Meanwhile customers in the West Midlands, North and South West were most likely to get back to restaurants. 

Hetal Parmar, Head of Banking, Santander UK commented: “It’s fantastic to see people getting out and supporting businesses in a safe way. Our research found that people who use cashback deals regularly when spending can save over £30 a month.  If you’re returning to your high street as lockdown rules ease, try using cashback services, like our Retailer Offers programme, to make your money go further.” 5

Making the most of the return to the high street

Santander UK has launched three new Retailer Offers for its customers in two popular post lockdown spending categories – eating out and clothing. Santander UK customers can activate the new cashback offers at Pret A Manger, Byron Burgers and FatFace6 in online banking or in the bank’s mobile app prior to making their purchase.

The bank’s free Retailers Offers service provides customers with cashback offers from a range of retailers instore and online. The service automatically gives up to 15% cashback after the offer is selected through online or mobile banking and a purchase is made with a Santander debit or credit card.

More details about Retailer Offers can be found here.

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The information contained in our press releases is intended solely for journalists and should not be used by consumers to make financial decisions.

Notes to Editors

  1. Data provided by Cardlytics, who power the Retailer Offers service, for Santander customers in England. Pre lockdown data is from 29 March 2021 - 11 April 2021 and post lockdown data is from 12 - 25 April 2021.
  2. Santander UK spending data is from our debit card network - circa 9 million cards. Period of analysis is week 11-14 (March 15 - April 11) compared to week 15-16 of 2021 (April 12-26).
  3. Lockdown sales in barber and beauty shops were driven by online purchases of products. 
  4. Lockdown sales in pubs and restaurants driven by take away sales. 
  5. Research refers to a nationally representative survey conducted by Opinium between 16 and 19 October 2020. The base size was 2,001 UK adults. Cashback refers to money claimed via cashback on purchases, either through a consumer’s bank or via a third-party cashback provider.
  6. Pret A Manger, Byron Burgers and FatFace Retailer Offers available to existing customers from 27 April 2021. 

Santander UK is a financial services provider in the UK that offers a wide range of personal and commercial financial products and services. At 31 December 2020, the bank had around 21,900 employees and serves around 14 million active customers, via a nationwide branch network, telephone, mobile and online banking. Santander UK is subject to the full supervision of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) in the UK. Santander UK plc customers’ eligible deposits are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) in the UK.

Banco Santander (SAN SM, STD US, BNC LN) is a leading retail and commercial bank, founded in 1857 and headquartered in Spain. It has a meaningful presence in 10 core markets in Europe and the Americas, and is one of the largest banks in the world by market capitalization. Its purpose is to help people and businesses prosper in a simple, personal and fair way. Santander is building a more responsible bank and has made a number of commitments to support this objective, including raising over €120 billion in green financing between 2019 and 2025, as well as financially empowering more than 10 million people over the same period. At the end of 2020, Banco Santander had more than a trillion euros in total funds, 148 million customers, of which 22.8 million are loyal and 42.4 million are digital, 11,000 branches and 191,000 employees.

Cardlytics (NASDAQ: CDLX) is an advertising platform in banks’ digital channels. We partner with major financial institutions – including Bank of America and Santander – to run their banking rewards programs that promote customer loyalty and deepen banking relationships. In turn, we have a secure view into where and when consumers are spending their money. We use these insights to help marketers identify, reach, and influence likely buyers at scale, as well as measure the true sales impact of marketing campaigns. Headquartered in Atlanta, Cardlytics has offices in London, New York, San Francisco, and Visakhapatnam. Learn more at

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