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Impact of pandemic evident in purchasing habits as sports bras make annual "shopping baskets" list

Camilla Rydzek
14 March 2022

Consumers' spending habits continue to be influenced by the pandemic, said the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in the annual update of its “shopping baskets” of items used to calculate price inflation. 

Following the impacts of the pandemic, the ONS has added sports bras and crop tops to the list, which includes 730 consumer products and services, and has replaced men's formal suits with a less formal option. 

The ONS stated the decline in usage of the men's suit had been "hastened by the coronavirus pandemic and home working," which is why it had made the decision to replace them with a man’s formal jacket or blazer.

It added that there had been a gradual fall in spending on men’s suits, which were down to 2 million per year in 2020, and that it had become harder to collect data on purchases with the decline of department stores and due to some retailers were withdrawing the item from their stores. 

It added that sports bras and crop tops were added to the basket as the pandemic had "heightened awareness of fitness generally" and had seen a "rise in expenditure on sports clothing".

Further adjustments have been made to children's clothing and pyjamas to comply with an updated classification system to calculate the annual baskets.

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