“It’s a feel good start to the year for retailers and consumers, despite the global economic jitters. Spending rose most prominently on the high street, though it still looks to be prudent rather than excessive at this stage.

Leisure and hospitality continue to outperform as sectors, but clothing and footwear retailers were the real winners after a disappointing dip in December. The arrival of the winter weather, combined with January sales, saw spend on warmer wears surge 5%. While e-commerce spend continues to grow strongly as ever, this is a clear statement by the high street that it can still attract customers.”novolfvekbpvdbinppvh

Said Kevin Jenkins, UK & Ireland Managing Director Visa Europe.

What UK businesses are saying:

Visa is tracking the sentiment of several small businesses across the UK on a monthly basis, asking about their views on the economy, business conditions and forecasts for the month ahead.

  • Pauline Cusack, Glen Guest House, Birmingham – January was an excellent month for us with business up almost 20% compared with last year. Our guests, many of whom are local contractors are benefitting from more work being available and this has led to longer stays in our guest house. We expect this trend to continue as we’ve already had many enquiries in for next month. Recently we’ve noticed a lot of expansion and construction in our area, and local pubs & guesthouses are already benefiting from the development.
  • Wendy Dalton, Blush Boutique, Oldham – We’ve had a remarkable January. As expected, many of the people that received proposals over the Christmas period have been through our doors to place their orders. The business has also benefitted from a growing social media and online presence. Customers also appear to be making the most of the information at their disposable, and are looking for the best offer without sacrificing quality.
  • Quan Nguyen, Chi Cafe, London – We were off to a good start this year, with January sales picking up from a rather quiet December. Our regular customers spent more, and we also saw new customers through our doors, perhaps because of the January health kick. We’ve also started a delivery service which we hope will help us expand our sales and customer base in the coming months.


Visa Europe is a payments technology business owned and operated by member banks and other payment service providers from 38 countries.

Visa Europe is at the heart of the payments ecosystem providing the services and infrastructure to enable millions of European consumers, businesses and governments to make electronic payments. Its members are responsible for issuing cards, signing up retailers and deciding cardholder and retailer fees. Visa Europe is also the largest transaction processor in Europe, responsible for processing more than 18 billion transactions annually.


There are more than 500m Visa cards in Europe, while €1 in every €6 spent in Europe is on a Visa card. Total expenditure on Visa cards exceeds €2 trillion annually, with €1.5 trillion spent at point-of-sale.

Visa Europe is an independent business with an exclusive, irrevocable and perpetual licence to use the Visa brand in Europe. Visa Europe works in partnership with Visa Inc. to enable global Visa payments in more than 200 countries and territories.