Shopping statistics

Where are we spending our shopping budget?


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Whether you’re looking to do the weekly shop or let off a bit of steam with some retail therapy, the UK has some of the best shopping destinations in the world. While picking up clothes from the high street and shopping centres might have been the best option for shoppers in the past, online shopping platforms with free returns have revolutionised how us Brits do our shopping. With this change in shopping habits, 74% of Brits are worried about the future of their local high streets.
Our page features the latest stats on shopping on high streets, in shopping centres and online for all retail purchases. While retail markets experience a huge weekly revenue, the food and drinks market is also enormous. With weekly grocery spending in the UK amounting to £3 billion, the yearly spend on food is around £152 billion. To find out more about the UK’s food spending, check out our supermarket statistics page.

The items with the highest revenue

The worldwide revenue of different retail items shows that women’s clothing is the biggest earner for the retail industry.

Item Revenue
Women's clothing £520bn
Men's clothing £364bn
Footwear £338bn
Underwear £223bn
Hosiery £178bn
Sports & swimwear £95bn
Luxuy watches and jewellery £84.9bn
Luxury Fashion £84.6bn
Prestige cosmetics and fragrances £70.5bn
Luxury leather goods £55.2bn
Luxury eyewear £17.3bn

In 2019, it’s predicted that £520 billion will be spent on women’s clothing, while men’s clothing will earn the industry £364 billion. With shoes now a big fashion statement, it’s not surprising that footwear is predicted to bring in the third-largest amount of revenue, with £338 billion to be spent worldwide. Further down, underwear and hosiery are also big earners, with a combined £401 billion revenue. Our graph finds that luxury items, although being more expensive as items individually, bring in less revenue overall.

Online shopping

Online shopping marks a huge diversion from traditional in-store shopping, making buying new goods as easy as a few clicks. Taking less than a few minutes, you can have goods delivered to your doorstep by the end of the week. And if what you’ve ordered doesn’t match your expectations, most online stores offer free returns.

  • In June 2019, 19.7% of all retail sales were Internet sales.
  • In 2018, people’s biggest reasons for online shopping were “free delivery” and “last-minute purchases”, with 27% of people citing these two reasons.
  • 39% of people would abandon their cart if there was a delivery charge.

Leading shopping apps in the UK

In April 2018, the most popular iPhone shopping app in the UK was eBay. eBay had 1.3 million daily active users, which was 62% greater than the next biggest app, Amazon. The graph below shows the most popular iPhone apps in the largest font. Depop, a second-hand retail app, was the tenth most popular in terms of the number of daily active users in April 2018.

Online shopping app Daily active users
eBay 1,330,000
Amazon 823,000
Wish 385,000
Shpock 318,000
Gumtree Local Ads 308,000
Groupon 303,000
Argos 172,000
ASOS 168,000
Wowcher 140,000
Depop 121,000

The most popular types of delivery for online shopping

Home delivery is the most popular delivery option for those shopping online, with 85% of respondents reporting to using this method. 62% of people also collect their orders in store.

Delivery option Share of respondents
Home delivery 85%
Collect-in-store 62%
Local pick-up drop-off 37%
Weekend delivery 28%
Delivery to workplace 26%
Delivery to locker 13%
When returning online packages, every 4 in 10 are returned via the post office, making it the most popular option. The next most popular option, Collect+, is used by only 1 in 10 people.

Shopping centres

Shopping centres offer a great alternative to high streets if you are looking to do a quick shop for a number of items. Despite this, in 2018, the vacancy rate for stores in shopping centres was 2% higher (reaching 13%) than it was in high street stores.

  • In 2017, the leading fashion and accessories brand in UK shopping centres was New Look.
  • In 2019, the market value of the largest-earning Intu Group shopping centre in the UK, Trafford Centre, was £1.9 billion.
  • The annual retail sales for the London and Stratford City Westfield shopping centres in 2018 was £1 billion and £1.2 billion, respectively.
  • The biggest shopping centres in the UK

    Intu Group is a British real estate investment trust specialising in shopping centre development. In June 2018, the largest shopping centre in the UK was Intu Metrocentre in Gateshead, which is 190,000 square metres – the size of Grand Central Station.

    Shopping centre Size in square metres
    Intu Metrocentre, Gateshead 190,000
    Intu Trafford Centre, Manchester 180,900
    Westfield Stratford City, London 175,000
    Bluewater, Kent 155,700
    Liverpool One, Liverpool 154,000
    Westfield London, London 149,500
    Intu Merry Hill, Dudley 148,600
    Meadowhall, Sheffield 139,400
    Manchester Arndale, Manchester 139,400
    Lakeside, Thurrock 133,800
    St. David's, Cardiff 130,100
    Bullring, Birmingham 127,100
    Eldon Square, Newcastle 125,400
    Of the 13 shopping centres listed, Intu properties are featured three times, meaning that Intu Group has the most shopping centres listed on the biggest shopping centres in the UK list. With two shopping centres on the list, Westfield has the next highest number of big shopping centres.

    Shopping on the high street

    With the vacancy rate of high streets shops being the lowest at only 11% of retail stores for the past five years, high streets are clearly still as popular for everyday local shopping. With this in mind, which high street stores are our favourites?

    The top 10 high street retailers by customer satisfaction

    Rank High street retailer Customer satisfaction score
    1 RIcher Sounds 89%
    2 Rohan 87%
    3 John Lewis 86%
    4 Hotter Shoes 84%
    5 Lakeland 84%
    6 Toolstation 84%
    7 Apple 83%
    8 Bodycare 83%
    9 Crew 83%
    10 Screwfix 82%

    How consumers feel about their high streets in 2018

    The graph below shows that 74% of consumers are concerned about their high streets. The biggest concern (shared by 70% of respondents) is with high street shops closing. Following this, 58% of people feel their high street needs more and better shops.

    Concern Share of respondents
    Worried about my high street 74%
    Worried about shops closing 70%
    Would like more and better shops 58%
    Worries about the variety of shops 56%
    Would like improved/free parking 45%
    Would like lower business rates 42%
    Would like a return to smaller, more local shops 35%


    Office for National Statistics
    Local Data Company
    Westfield Corporation
    Royal Mail
    Priori Data

    Click here for more research. For all media enquiries, please contact:

    Matt Mckenna
    UK communications manager
    T: +44 20 8191 8806

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