Change the clocks and get to the shops: Brits set to hit the high street during British Summer Time

23 Mar 2018 Our high streets are set to see an increase in footfall next week as shoppers take advantage of the lighter nights, according to predictions based on historic transaction data from credit card provider, MBNA.

Despite the convenience of online shopping, transaction data shows a trend towards increased high street shopping as we enjoy longer daylight hours. Conversely, the data shows a dip in online transactions during British Summer Time (BST) compared to Greenwich Meridian Time (GMT).

Across the seven months from April to October, correlation analysis shows that for every transaction recorded online two and a half were recorded in store. Conversely, online transactions increased by 13% in the darker months of the year when daylight hours are significantly reduced.

The most pronounced change is seen on a Thursday evening, between 3pm and 8pm, when instore transactions increase by 11.5% in volume and 17% in value in the weeks following the change to BST, compared to the final weeks of GMT.

Clothing and household/DIY stores see the biggest rise. The volume of instore transactions in clothing stores on an evening increased by 20.6% in the first month of BST, while in household stores the volume of instore transactions on an evening increased by 12.8%.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, spend in pubs and restaurants also shows a steady increase as the nights draw out. In the first month of BST in 2017, transactions between 3pm and 8pm rose by 6.6%, with the biggest rise seen on a Monday (24.9%) and a Thursday (10.5%).

Richard Whatmough, marketing and digital executive for MBNA, said: “The correlation of transaction data with daylight hours shows a preference for shopping in-store as consumers enjoy lighter evenings on the high street, perhaps using their evenings to shop ahead of the weekend. Equally, the reverse is true for online transactions, suggesting that despite the convenience of online shopping, in the summer months when the nights are lighter and the weather is kinder the high street wins out.”

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