Retail showed signs of a significant bounce back in the first week shops were able to reopen after lockdown.
Data from Barclaycard Payments, which processes nearly 40% of all transactions in the UK, sheds light on the UK’s economic recovery.
In early signs of growth, by last week an additional 60% of Barclaycard’s customers had returned to trading and taking payments compared to the first week of April.
This compared to the week commencing June 7, just before shops reopened, showing a 12% increase in active customers.
With more business open, Barclaycard also saw an 8% increase in the total number of transactions compared to the week commencing June 7, with many consumers taking advantage of their first opportunity to shop for the non-essential items they had been missing during lockdown.
This also led to an increase in contactless transactions, with Barclaycard Payments processing ten per cent more contactless transactions than the week before.
Described by Barclaycard as further reasons to be optimistic, the total value of transactions processed also grew by 6% compared to the previous week.
When looking at the value taken specifically in-store, this figure increases to 12%.
Small and medium businesses in particular benefitted from being able to open back up, experiencing a 12% increase in the total volume of transactions, and a 9% increase in the total value processed.
Rob Cameron, CEO of Barclaycard Payments, said: “It’s extremely heartening to witness the spike in activity that took place last week, and with some retailers still to open some or all of their stores, we expect sales volumes to continue to rise over the coming weeks.”
Adding: “The ability of UK businesses to adapt and grow as they emerge from lockdown is a testament to how dedicated and resilient they are. It will be interesting to watch whether the measures they took to boost income during lockdown, such as turning to social media to increase sales, will become a permanent part of their business models from now on.”