Belfast Telegraph

City shoppers to defy retail predictions with £330m splurge

By Clare Weir

Shoppers in Belfast could splash out over £330m on the high street this month despite warnings of one of the worst Christmases on record for retailers.

Barclays bank figures predict that of that figure, £204m is expected to be spent on cash cards during December and a total of £130m of cash is expected to be withdrawn from Belfast ATMs and banks during the period.

The institution’s survey of consumers in the city said that supermarkets will be the biggest beneficiaries, with £44m going into their tills, whilst £11m is predicted to be spent at petrol stations and £6m at department stores.

Online shopping accounts for over a quarter of this debit card spend.

The busiest days for spending across the UK are predicted to be Friday December 23 for debit cards when Barclays expects over £1bn will be spent, and Saturday December 24 for ATMs with £774m being dispensed.

The top cities for spending in the UK are predicted to be: London which should attract over £5bn of spending throughout December, followed by Greater Manchester at just under £2bn, Birmingham with £1bn, then Sheffield and Newcastle upon Tyne with spends of over £820m.

The predictions will bring cheer to retailers who were badly hit last year by heavy snow, freezing conditions and floods which kept shoppers away.

Dan Wass, director of current accounts at Barclays, said that it has been a difficult year for consumers whose household budgets have been squeezed to cope with rising costs, but added: “We are expecting shoppers to shun the doom and gloom and spend record levels as retailers make massive reductions to entice them in.”

£130m

The amount predicted |to be withdrawn from Belfast ATMs this month

Belfast Telegraph

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