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Mon 7th Aug 2017 - Spend in UK hotels, restaurants and bars rises 6%, StreetDots expansion
Spend in UK hotels, restaurants and bars rises 6%: Spending in UK hotels, restaurants and bars rose 6% in July compared with the same month a year ago, according to the latest data from Visa. The company’s Consumer Spending Index compiled by Markit revealed overall consumer spend fell 0.8% on an annual basis following declines in May and June, the first time overall spending had fallen for three consecutive months since February 2013. One sector to see a rise in spend was e-commerce (3.6%) but face-to-face expenditure fell 3.7% compared with the year before. Transport and communication, and clothing and footwear saw the most marked reductions in spend – 6.1% and 5.2% respectively. Kevin Jenkins, UK and Ireland managing director at Visa, said: “Consumer spend fell for the third month in a row in July, the first time overall spending had fallen for three consecutive months since February 2013. The figure provides further evidence that rising prices and stagnant wage growth are squeezing consumers’ pockets. The drop in spending was felt across a broader range of retail sectors last month, with clothing, household goods, food and transport among the worst hit. There were still some bright spots in July, with hotels, restaurants and bars reporting a 6% increase. The sector is likely to have benefited from an early surge in summer staycations as the weak pound made holidaying at home more attractive.”

StreetDots secures £500,000 for UK-wide expansion: Street trading platform StreetDots has secured £500,000 funding to take the concept UK-wide. The company works with landowners to open pitches or “dots” that can be booked a day at a time via Trade Smart, its booking app that takes care of compliance, licensing and marketing. StreetDots will use the investment to grow its network of dots from almost 50 to 200 in the next 12 months and expand outside London and Glasgow. It will also extend its user base of independent street food businesses to include restaurant brands that want to reach new customers, trial new locations or showcase a particular product. StreetDots will also add features to Trade Smart such as pre-ordering and click-and-collect to help street food vendors keep pace with the growing delivery market. The funding comes from private Singapore fund BOH and is in addition to its £350,000 initial investment in January. Co-founder Atholl Milton said: “Our platform has liberated London-based street food brands from admin involved in finding somewhere to sell. We are now set to take that UK-wide. We’re not only hoping to streamline the business of outdoor street food, we’re hoping to grow the market. UK street trading laws are guided by legislation that is over a century old and its processes seem to be stuck in the same era. Our vision is a digitally managed UK-wide network of dots that is hassle-free for anyone who wants to sell great food on the streets.”

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