Almost 30 per cent of shoppers said they would check spending as a result of last week's quarter-point rate rise, with 42 per cent considering themselves worse off financially than 12 months ago, an exclusive ICM poll for Retail Week revealed.
Electricals and technology is the first area in which consumers said they would make savings, followed closely by homewares and furniture.
Department stores are also bracing themselves for a tightening of purse strings. John Lewis director of retail operations Patrick Lewis said: 'The departments that get affected the most are large-ticket departments where customers can delay a purchase.'
However, department stores might gain respite from fashion sales, because only 5 per cent of those polled said they would cut back on buying clothing and footwear.
Poundland trading director David Coxon said tighter spending will drive footfall in the value sector: 'If anything, value discounters will benefit if people are more cautious with their money.'
Grocery retailers can also breathe a sigh of relief, because financially stretched shoppers said they were least likely to curb spending on food and drink.