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Britain’s forecourt Romeos avoid heartbreak hotel with last-minute shopping splurge

Thursday, February 12, 2015

LONDON – 12th February 2015 – Retailers could find themselves inundated with panic-stricken shoppers this Friday as data from Worldpay, the UK’s leading payments processing company, suggests most Brits will leave Valentine’s Day shopping until the very last minute.
According Worldpay’s analysis of retail spending in 2014, trading in jewellery stores, a traditional magnet for last-minute Casanovas, remains fairly flat right up until the day before Valentine’s Day where sales suddenly rocket by 70% versus the seasonal average. Meanwhile sales at jewellery stores on Valentine’s Day itself rose by 46% compared to average, suggesting a hard core of individuals prepared either to take things right to the wire, or to pay the price for poor-planning with an expensive apology.

While nothing says ‘I love you’ like a hastily bought item of expensive jewellery, Worldpay data indicates many Brits are still happy to fall back on the classic combination of flowers and a romantic meal to woo the object of their affections.
Last year Valentine’s spending on the 13th and 14th February caused sales at UK florists to rise by 364%, and Worldpay is predicting a similar spike this year.

For UK restaurant owners Valentines night is worth an extra 37% in sales versus an average night for the time of year*. Restaurants in the South West of England see the biggest boost in trade on Valentine’s night, with transactions rising by 43% compared to the average*. Sales at London restaurants benefit the least from Valentine’s Day trading, rising by a mere 23% compared to the seasonal average.
Dave Hobday, Managing Director, Worldpay UK, said: “I have to watch what I say slightly here, but our data certainly suggests that there’s a degree of poor-planning and brinkmanship involved when it comes to shopping for gifts in the run-up to Valentine’s Day.
“To spare a few blushes we haven’t included transaction data from petrol-station forecourts in our analysis. Nevertheless, I’d expect garage owners across the country will be rubbing their hands together when they welcome a stream of panic-stricken blokes through the door at first light on Saturday morning.”

     -ENDS-

For more information please contact:
Emily Lahey, Senior Communications Manager, Worldpay. T +44 (0) 203 664 5663
Tom Parker, Golin. T +44 (0) 207 067 0288
About the data
Figures quoted are according to Worldpay transactional data from January 2014 – February 2014. In 2014, Worldpay processed 44% of all UK card transactions (based on market data provided by the UK Payments Administration).
About Worldpay
Worldpay is one of the world’s leading independent payment processing companies. The Worldpay Group has three operating divisions: ecommerce, Worldpay US and Worldpay UK.
Worldpay UK, the UK’s leading payment processor, helps businesses of all sizes sell more to their customers – by accepting credit and debit card payments in-store, online, via mail or telephone, and on the move. In 2014 Worldpay handled 44% of all card payments made in Britain.
Across the Worldpay Group, we process over 8.4 billion transactions every year, and our online payment options cater for over 200 payment types in 115 currencies. www.worldpay.com/uk