Business development ยท 24 May 2019

May bank holiday weekends to bring 118m boost to UK SMEs

Small businesses across the UK are set to share an estimated 118m revenue boost from extra bank holiday consumer spending over both bank holiday weekends in May, according to new figures from Paymentsense.

Data from the company’s 70, 000 small business customers across the UK, reveals that sales volumes were up 6% over the first May bank holiday weekend in 2018, and then a further 5% over the second, providing UK SMEs with a total estimated boost of 118m.

Garden-related retail spending enjoyed the biggest lift, with transactions up by 248% over both bank holiday weekends, suggesting that May is when many consumers start thinking about their outside spaces again – especially as the colder mornings and evenings start to subside.

The warmer weather also helped increase leisure spending, as pubs, bars and nightclubs enjoyed a near two-thirds (60%) sales lift, followed by hotels at well over a quarter up (28%). Spending on take away and fast food was close behind with a 24% increase over the norm.

despite recent uncertain times for small businesses, our early analysis suggests that the trend of extra consumer spending across both bank holiday weekends is set to continue this year, “guy Moreve, CMO, Paymentsense said.

Although overall spending was up, not every sector is set to profit from the May bank holiday boost.

Last year, dentistry business sales were down around 90% compared to their usual share of trade, followed by estate agents (down 76%), heating and plumbing-related retailers (down 71%), and builders? merchants (down 62%).

Paymentsense also looked at spending trends over spring (March to May) last year and found the period is also important to motorcycle dealers and photography/camera retailers (both up 32% on average), service stations (up 26%) and golf courses (up 20%).

as spring turns to summer purchasing trends shift with the seasons: our figures suggest May, with its two bank holidays, is the real start of summer for many people – their attention turns away from practical purchasing towards outdoor activities and entertainment.” – Guy Moreve

Regionally, the South East saw the greatest uplift in trade (up 9.2%), followed by the South West (7.6%) and the North East (7.2%). Top towns were Portsmouth (up 26%), Exeter (24%, and Brighton (19%). London was much lower down the list at 2.2%.

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Praseeda Nair is the editorial director of Business Advice, and its sister publication for growing businesses, Real Business. She's an impassioned advocate for women in leadership, and likes to profile business owners, advisors and experts in the field of entrepreneurship and management.

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