Close Brothers Retail Finance saw some interesting changes in purchasing behaviour in April based on seasonality and the tough retail outlook. Overall, April 2018 saw a significant rise in activity in the sports & leisure products market as consumers looked to invest in new equipment for outdoor sports and hobbies such as golf (driven by the US Masters), cycling and fishing. This rise was predominately driven by both young and middle aged males and it will be interesting to see if this trend continues through the summer.
Meanwhile sectors outside of this industry, such as jewellery and electronic goods, didn’t fair as well compared to previous months. The drop in activity in the electronic goods sector was driven particularly from males as they switched their spend to purchase products in other sectors, like sports and leisure.
Retailers can make the most of this trend by offering finance with fixed repayments to help consumers to spread the cost of their purchase.
JD Sports has seen a record increase in its profit before tax, which was at 26% in the 53 weeks to 3 February 2018.