Foreign Shopper Rush to Buy British in Unexpected Brexit Side-Effect
While many of the businesses around the country have been studying the negative side effects of the Brexit vote and the looming lengthy discussions around the separation process, some have noticed a positive side effect. Foreign spending in British shops has increased since the vote, as buyers make the most of the currency fluctuations.
Foreign card spending volumes saw a 3.4% increase in the month after the Brexit vote was announced and non-UK card spending is particular strong online, with a growth in the volume of 5.3% while the average transaction value has increased by almost 9%. Even offline bricks and mortar stores saw an increase of around 3% after the vote.
Worldpay’s UK Managing Director Dave Hobday said that the rich mix of large and independent retailers has always meant that foreign shoppers were attracted to the UK market and the recent fluctuations in the currency have also made the prospect of ‘buying British’ even more enticing.
The data has given a boost to the retail sector having been through a lengthy period of uncertainty and change. This boost in overseas trade has also encourages retailers to seriously consider their e-commerce strategies and how this can let them fully make the most of the international markets now available and taking a keen interest in UK business.
The data goes on to show that is isn’t just the volume of non-UK card transactions that have been on the rise – visitors are also spending more when they come to the UK to shop and spend money. An 8.8% increase in basket value just after the Brexit vote announcement has now been bettered by an 11% rise in in-store transactions for non-UK cards since the vote, rising from an average of £39.88 to £44.28 since the UK decided to leave the EU.
The figures from online retailers show a similar trend with the Worldpay data showing an average transaction of £126.79, an increase of 10.9% on the previous year and 8.6% in the period before the June referendum.
Spreading the good news
While the biggest boost is unsurprisingly to London based businesses, the good news is that the boost has also spread around other areas of the UK too. Non-UK card transactions in the capital had increased by 4.6% and the average value had increased by 14% after the Brexit vote.
Around the UK, growth has also been seen. In the Midlands, the figures were 7.4% and 5.7% respectively while the Yorkshire area saw a large 7.2% increase. Figures were more modest in Wales and Scotland did see a slight decrease in the same period.
This shows that while tourist hot-spots such as London have been the biggest beneficiary of the change, all areas of the country are seeing some increase in non-UK based customers. It has prompted many businesses to look to continue their innovation and investment with the aim of attracting and getting more customers from outside the country.
While many businesses continue to be concerned about the impact that leaving the EU will have on their company, it seems that non-UK shoppers are already embracing everything the UK has to offer and continue to show no signs that the decision to leave the EU has in any way put them off from spending their cash here.