Buoyed by improved economic data and signs of returning consumer confidence, US retailers are in an all-out war to get shoppers in the stores and spending tomorrow ,the most significant shopping day
Tag Archives: consumer spending
Marks & Spencer chairman Sir Stuart Rose today predicted that consumer spending would not falter as a result of government spending cuts which were “fair to everybody”. Speaking at a retail
Shoppers rushing for last-minute gifts and flooding to high streets for the start of the sales helped lift consumer spending in the last two weeks of the year to outperform 2008′s bleak Christmas.
Consumer spending during the final fortnight of December was 2.4% higher than in the same period of 2008, according to card processing firm Barclaycard Payment Acceptance.
The group, which processes credit and debit card transactions for 88,000 UK retailers, said consumers spent £4.09bn on their cards between 19 and 31 December, up from £3.99bn on 2008. The busiest day was 23 December, when £497m was spent on last-minute Christmas shopping.
Following reports of long queues in the small hours of Boxing Day outside shopping centres, the card processor said post-Christmas spending was also up on 2008. As shoppers rushed to the sales, spending totalled £1.68bn, up from £1.64bn in 2008. Tuesday, 29 December was the busiest day post-Christmas, with transactions adding up to £376m.
On Christmas day this year many people turned to their computer screens to continue shopping, with more than 700,000 transactions worth £24m processed, peaking at 12.08pm when 32 transactions a second were being handled. Online retailers accounted for £9.5m of turnover on Christmas Day, up 17% from £8.1m in 2008.
Retail experts have said that while shops appeared busier this festive season, consumer confidence is still fragile thanks to high unemployment and wider economic problems. The latest data shows the UK is still mired in its deepest recession since the second world war.
Much of the December sales rush has been attributed to shoppers racing to beat the rise in VAT, which yesterday went back up to 17.5% from the government’s emergency rate of 15% over the last year.