As Black Friday heralds the beginning of the annual Christmas shopping rush, data from Worldpay reveals Britain’s department stores – the flagships of British retail – can expect to double their takings this weekend, with stores in the North of England set to benefit the most from our festive generosity.
According to Worldpay, Britain’s leading payment processing company, the number of card transactions processed by UK department stores in some parts of the UK, rose by as much as 168% during this key sales period last year and the company expects that to go up by more this year.
Liverpool and Leeds topped the list, with 168% and 167% increases respectively. Newcastle and Manchester saw jumps of 148%. Average transaction volumes in London’s department stores were 87% higher than usual in the last week in November, while in Bristol trading rose by 73% against the average, hinting at a North-South divide in terms of shopper behaviours in the run-up to Christmas.
Worldpay research suggests consumers will spend an average of £364.01 on Christmas presents for friends and family across the UK. Shoppers in the North spend an average of £378.43 on gifts, while shoppers in the South spend £351.46.
Dave Hobday, managing director, Worldpay UK, said: “UK department stores will be judged this weekend on their ability to deliver bumper Black Friday sales. Major retailers invest millions in slick campaigns to get customers through the door, but long queues or lack of stock can have shoppers heading straight for the exits again. If they don’t get this right, their bottom lines – and reputations – will suffer significantly.
“With so much at stake, retailers of all sizes are investing in new technologies to make shopping as merry as possible for their customers. This year we’re seeing increased deployments of mobile point of sale which allow staff to use tablets to take payments anywhere in-store and help reduce queues. And, if a shopper has their heart set on an item that’s out of stock, retailers can directly link into e-commerce systems to help customers order and pay for goods to be delivered before they leave the store. This holiday season, it’s about making the shopping experience as easy and enjoyable as scoffing a mince pie.”