In-store business transactions overtake e-commerce in July

UK businesses are leading the revival of the UK High Street, according to new data which shows that spending on business credit cards surpassed e-commerce spend in July, for the first time since lockdown.

Allstar Business Solutions analysed data on customer business credit card spending, finding that the proportion of in-store transactions rose to 52 per cent in the last week of July, up from 33 per cent in peak lockdown in late March.

The Allstar barometer tracks business expenses and mileage as an economic indicator of sector recovery across 50,000 companies.

The findings suggest that spending is switching back to bricks-and-mortar retailers as lockdown restrictions ease, while economic activity is spurring vehicles back on the road, with fuel spend growth by businesses operating in the retail/wholesale space up 46 per cent between May and June.

Use of Allstar Expense cards by retail business also grew 11 per cent in July, compared to June, indicating continued recovery in the sector.

As with many sectors across the UK, spending by retail and wholesale businesses on expenses like office supplies, vehicle servicing and travel and entertainment has experienced steady growth - with an overall increase of 11 per cent month on month.

As footfall and sales recovered alongside the reopening of non-essential shops from 15 June, wholesale and retail fuel consumption saw a continued rise in late July – with no sign of a negative ‘summer holiday effect’ experienced in some sectors.

Avoiding the holiday growth interruption, the wholesale and retail industry experienced an eight per cent rise in its weekly growth rate, second to the arts, entertainment and recreation industry (19 per cent).

Paul Holland, a managing director at FLEETCOR, Allstar’s parent company, said: “We’re seeing continued growth month on month across our wholesale and retail industry customers and at a sharper rate than the all-sector average.

"With the school summer holidays failing to impact this upward trajectory, we hope to see the sector further boosted by increased footfall and the government’s ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme introduced in August. ”

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