Slower rise in retail therapy may lessen bad credit

19 July 2005
Britons have reportedly increased their retail therapy spend by around 25 per cent over the past year and are now spending an average of £95 a month, new research suggests.

Of those polled by Sainsbury's Bank, 20 per cent admitted they wanted to reduce their debt levels and 18 per cent are worried about taking on too much debt.

However, just one per cent said that they were worried about their ability to manage their debts, suggesting that many people are taking action before their debts become a problem.

The survey also shows that the trend for retail therapy spending may be slowing, with many consumers becoming more cautious about increasing their expenditure. The latest figure is down on last year's index when 9.2 million people said they had increased their spending by around a third.

Lucy Hunter, credit card manager at Sainsbury's Bank, said: "It looks like retail therapy is still alive and well, but it's interesting to see that more people are reducing their spending.

"It also appears that many people have a responsible attitude to their non-essential expenditure as many of those cutting down say they are doing so to reduce existing debt levels."

Much of the expenditure on retail therapy is likely to be on credit cards, Sainsbury's Bank claims. The lender advises consumers to choose most suitable card for their individual needs.

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