Monthly Archives

April 2023

Lightbox Loves: Cathartic Sprees

By | Featured, Lightbox Loves

Ever had a bad day and found yourself clicking ‘add to basket’? It seems you’re not alone. According to a recent report from Canvas8, “cathartic sprees” are becoming an increasingly common way for consumers to deal with stress and anxiety.

So, what exactly is a cathartic spree? It’s a shopping binge that’s driven by emotions rather than necessity. Cathartic sprees sees you splurging on a new wardrobe, indulging in expensive beauty treatments, or treating yourself to the latest gadgets, even if you can’t afford them.

Many believe this behaviour has been exacerbated thanks to recent macro-economic pressures, whilst the weight of work, social media, and personal relationships also play a part in making people turn to shopping as a form of escapism or to de-stress from modern day life.

While retail therapy can provide a temporary sense of relief, the long-term consequences can be damaging. Many end up with credit card debt (particularly as people rack up their reliance on ‘buy now pay later’ – BNPL – models) and a sense of guilt and regret after the initial high wears off.

With 39% of Gen Zers and 34% of Gen Yers naming finance as their main source of stress, brands such as Klarna are already facing large public outcry meaning that releasing BNPL features may not be the quick fix and answer that brands are hoping for, as they risk being perceived as enabling toxic shopping habits.

On the flipside, retailers can help people where they truly need it the most – whether it be helping consumers to set a budget or supporting financial literacy organisations, retailers will do well to help consumers make sensible financial choices. For instance, smart money app ‘Plum’ are helping people save for a rainy day with the ‘Naughty Rule’ where users can set aside savings for every splurge they make, helping consumers balance indulgence and practicality.

All in all, retailers don’t have to be the people’s enemy when it comes to their financial goals. With YouGov reporting that as many as 64% of shoppers are looking to make cuts in their household spend in 2023, many are prioritising being retail savvy and financially intelligent more than anything else this year. As such, brands may be able to win consumer loyalty by showing support and offering practical and responsible solutions to make money go further during this challenging climate.

Source: Canvas8, YouGov

Lightbox Loves: Bank Holiday Boosts

By | Featured, Lightbox Loves

The UK has just enjoyed a sunny four day bank holiday weekend which will undoubtably have people excited about the prospect of the three bank holiday weekends coming up in May (a 2019 YouGov survey suggested that 41% of the UK say that the prospect of a bank holiday puts them in a better mood!). Despite nearly 1 in 3 Brits saying that they will not be prioritising leisure products, activities or services in 2023 (the7stars QT, May 2023), it appears that bank holidays may be exempt from this cautiousness.

With Brits choosing when these one-off occasions happen to ignore the cost-of-living crisis and instead choosing to take advantage of the opportunity to go out, celebrate and spend money. For example, it is projected that Brits will have spent £960million during the Easter period (which is £60million more than last year). Furthermore, MCA has already reported that pubs and hospitality benefitted from a 3% increase in the total number of sales over this Easter weekend.

This trend we have seen at Easter isn’t an isolated occasion as the extra post-Christmas bank holiday on the 27th December 2022 saw a 40% increase in shopping activity and footfall compared to Boxing Day. Likewise, the British Retail Consortium reported a 5.1% year-on-year increase in retail spending in March 2023 around Mother’s Day (well ahead of the 12-month average of 2.6%) and Valentine’s Day helped boost British retail sales by 5.2%.

Whilst spending grew across the board, there are a number of sectors that are fairing particularly well during these calendar events. Most notably retail, hospitality and entertainment as they lend themselves to these moments of coming together and celebrating.

Overall, the bank holidays may just be the perfect opportunity to maximise marketing and drive increased spending around these sectors to give your leisure brands the boost they need this year. Consider marketing tactics such as promoting special offers and using email marketing to capitalise on these periods of increased consumer spending.