Video games, online shopping and food deliveries – here’s how we're spending during lockdown

21 April 2020

How does your lockdown spending compare to the rest of the UK?


Customers are changing their shopping habits during the coronavirus lockdown and trading takeaway coffees for video games and food deliveries, according to Starling Bank.

The digital-only bank compared data from its 1.25 million customers from the week ending 15 March, which predates the lockdown, and that ending 5 April - the end of the second week of it.

Starling customers spent most money on video games, with purchases for Playstation and Nintendo devices increasing by almost 300% during that period.

Sales were also up for other online retailers. Purchases on Amazon were up 39%. Other retailers doing well from the lockdown include Argos, which saw a 49% rise in sales, and the Apple Store, where sales rose 36%.

Across the UK the average value of a transaction made by a Starling customer rose during lockdown.

Londoners are spending the most. For the week ending 22 March the average transaction value in the capital was £53.57. Two weeks later this had more than doubled, to £107.72.

The table below shows how much the average transaction value has increased for each region.

Region Value w/e March 22 Value w/e April 5 % increase
South East £53.32 £86.75 62.7%
South-West £45.67 £71.17 55.8%
West Midlands £40.03 £64.76 61.8%
North West £39.82 £61.08 53.4%
North East £37.96 £55.39 46%
Yorkshire £42.92 £64.32 49.9%
Scotland £39.21 £62.83 60.2%
Wales £42.20 £61.08 44.7%
Northern Ireland £38.93 £53.51 37.5%

What is going down?

Spending on takeaway coffee fell by 99% during lockdown, as branches across the UK closed temporarily.

Customers also spent less on transport, as government guidelines mean people have to work from home where possible.  

Spending on public transport fell 93.3% between the week ending 15 March and the one ending 5 April.

Cash spent at petrol stations tumbled by more than 50%, while payments for ride-sharing app Uber fell 84.3%.

The nation’s largest pharmacy chain, Boots, has also seen a drop in transactions. Starling customers spent 68.8% less at the retailer between weeks ending 15 March and 5 April.


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