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Entertainment retail saw highest growth levels within the wider leisure sector during COVID-hit 2020

By | Published on Wednesday 3 March 2021

Entertainment Retailers Association

We all know that a key trend in the music industry in 2020 was that while the live side of the business was in complete shutdown for much of the year, the recorded music sector enjoyed further growth powered by the ongoing streaming boom. A similar trend, of course, is found across the wider entertainment and leisure industries, and new figures from the Entertainment Retailers Association released today confirm that.

Indeed, the specific strand of the wider entertainment and leisure industries represented by ERA – ie music, video and gaming products consumed at home – saw the highest growth rate in 2020, with revenues rising 18.3%.

Also up were entertainment hardware sales (3.7%), gambling (1.3%) and purchases related to gardening and home improvement (1.2%). Meanwhile, most heavily hit were overseas holidays (down 65.8%), UK holidays (43.8%), local live entertainment (40.8%) and eating out (40.2%).

That’s based on number crunching by Sheffield Hallam University’s Leisure Industries Centre, and ERA’s own stats relating to the music, video and gaming sectors, the latter of which have now been aggregated into the trade group’s annual yearbook.

Those ERA stats have been tweaked slightly since provisional figures for 2020 were published at the start of the year, with total revenues for the combined music, video and gaming retail sectors topping £9.3 billion now that all the maths has been done. Of that figure, 48% is generated by gaming, 35% by video and 17% by music.

Commenting on this year’s figures – and the extent to which music, video and gaming retail out-performed the other entertainment and leisure sectors in growth terms – ERA CEO Kim Bayley says: “The entertainment market was already growing without coronavirus, but with much of the leisure sector shuttered due to lockdown, music, video and games were in the right place at the right time”.