Pubs, bars and nightclubs set to gain from May bank holiday weekend spending

New analysis from Paymentsense suggests that the hospitality sector is set to benefit from increased consumer spending over both bank holiday weekends in May, based on 2018 data from the company’s 70,000 small business customers. Pubs, bars and nightclubs across the UK enjoyed a near two-thirds (60%) sales lift during the 2018 May bank holiday weekends.

These entertainment businesses were 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 normal trading levels.

Paymentsense’s figures show that other sectors also benefited from increased sales last year, with garden-related retail spending enjoying a big uplift with transactions 248% above normal levels, during the 2018 bank holiday weekends. However, it was a mixed picture in the retail sector overall, with heating and plumbing-related retailers down 71%, and builders’ merchants down 62%.

Regionally, across all sectors, 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%). Portsmouth enjoyed the biggest spending boost at 26% above normal sales levels, with the national average standing at 6% uplift. London was much lower down the list at 2.2%.

Guy Moreve, CMO, Paymentsense comments: “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.

“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.

“Leisure business owners should also ensure they can take all forms of payments ahead of the upcoming May bank holiday, to really make the most of the expected increase in consumer spending. Given that consumers will only wait a few months for SMEs to start taking cards before they lose patience, it’s also an investment in the long-term success of a new or small business.”