Cashplus provides snapshot of small business in lockdown Britain
Cashplus, the leading UK digital challenger to banks, has analysed data from 65,000 UK SME customers to provide a snapshot of small business spending since the country-wide coronavirus ‘lockdown’ began on 23rd March.
The research shows dramatic spikes in online purchases from trade sellers, with builders’ merchant Wickes up nearly 450% on the average daily spend over the previous six weeks, and Alibaba.com, a major stockist of PPE products, up 380%.
Since launch, Cashplus has served over 150k small businesses in a wide range of sectors from construction and consulting to transportation and health and social care, offering a broad insight into SME spending trends during the coronavirus crisis, looking at both physical ‘card present’ sales and online transactions.
For online purchases, alongside Alibaba and Wickes, trade merchants Toolstation.com and Screwfix also saw transaction increase of between 160 and 280%. Transactions at Argos and John Lewis, both sellers of home office equipment, have risen 205% and 170% respectively and mobile and electronics retailers O2 and Curry’s are up 210% and 160%.
For physical ‘card present’ purchases, spending among Cashplus SME customers has surged at cash and carry and wholesale merchants, indicating that smaller retailers are stocking up in greater volumes. Spending at Parfett’s is up over 270% since the beginning of ‘lockdown’ and other wholesalers, including United Wholesale Scotland, Dhameca Foods, and Stax are all up between 140 and 170%. Analysis of Cashplus consumer card data also shows smaller stores taking a higher share of spend as customers ‘shop local’.
Cashplus serves c. 7% of all new UK companies and uses a direct integration to Companies House to onboard customers. As part of this research, the company has also analysed new company formation data available through Companies House.
Despite the continuation of a general downward trend in new formations, between 16th March (when government social distancing guidelines came into effect) and 31st March several sectors saw an increase in the rate of new formations when compared to the period from 1st to 15th March.
These included transportation and storage up 15%, and a 25% rise in governmental administration companies. Other sectors that grew included health and social activities and information and communication. Meanwhile, the largest drops were real estate services, down 30% on the previous two-week period, and arts, entertainment and recreation, down 26%.
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