British shoppers will spend 265 million pounds ($413.7 million) making internet credit card purchases today, on what is likely to be the busiest online shopping day of the year, according to Visa Inc.
As many as 2,600 transactions will take place every minute on so-called ‘mega Monday,’ boosting the day’s year-on-year spending by 5.5 percent, the credit-card company said in a statement.
In the past two years, the closest Monday to December has been one of the busiest online shopping days of the year as consumers use month-end pay-checks to cover holiday purchases, Visa said. Electricals, fashion good and toys were the most popular purchases as British consumers spent more than 250 million pounds in London’s West End stores over the weekend, New West End Co. said yesterday.
“The combination of monthly salaries being paid and people taking delivery times into consideration should combine to deliver a record day for internet shopping,” Visa Europe Commercial Director Steve Perry said in the statement.
One quarter of all the money spent in the U.K. is on a Visa card, with the majority of consumers using a debit card. Shoppers will spend an average of 184,000 pounds every minute, according to Visa. Across Europe, it predicts sales of about 460 million euros ($609.1 million) and over 6.6 million euros in online transactions.
John Lewis Partnership Plc, the U.K. retailer, said weekly sales at its department stores rose 8.7 percent from the year- ago period, driven by gifts for children. Sales were 99.94 million pounds in the week to Nov. 27, the London-based company said in an e-mailed statement yesterday. The figure is a 13.5 percent increase from the previous week.
Over one million shoppers descended on central London on Saturday, where many stores reported a more than 10 percent increase in sales of so-called “big ticket items,” such as high- definition televisions, according to New West End, which represents retailers in the city’s main shopping district, including Oxford Street.
“Retailers are reporting that average transaction size was up this weekend,” New West End Chief Executive Officer Richard Dickinson said in a statement yesterday. “Shoppers spent an average of 200 pounds each this weekend, compared with 120 pounds the same weekend last year.”
Separately, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Ltd. predicts U.K. online retail sales will grow 15 percent this year, boosting December internet sales to 8 billion pounds. Online purchases will make up a fifth of total sales in December, the company said in a report released today.
“Next year is going to be tough for the retail industry as a whole, but online will continue to grow quickly,” Richard Hyman, strategic retail adviser to Deloitte, said in a statement.
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