High Easter spend on DIY as homeowners invest in their properties to capitalise on house price boom

London, 22 April 2014: Growth in consumer spending at UK DIY and household stores on Visa cards was up over 6% during the Easter weekend compared to 2013 as homeowners continued to invest in their properties, buoyed by the strong housing market.

Almost £210 million was spent over the four day weekend compared to around £196 million during Easter 2013. The figure was 17% higher than during Easter 2012.

Each day of the Easter weekend saw growth in spending compared to previous years. Easter Saturday was the busiest day, with over £70 million spent on Visa cards, while Easter Monday saw a particularly sharp jump of 11% growth from last year.

Overall, DIY spending on Visa cards is 10% higher to date in 2014 than it was at the same date last year, despite the late Easter. More than £1 in every £3 spent in the UK is now spent using Visa.

Natasha Toothill, Director of Retailer Engagement at Visa Europe, commented: "The strong DIY spend over Easter signals two things: the continued overall recovery in consumer confidence and spending; and further evidence of homeowners investing in their properties to capitalise on a buoyant housing market.”

About Visa Europe

Visa Europe is a payments technology business owned and operated by member banks and other payment service providers from 37 countries across Europe.

Visa Europe works at the forefront of technology to create the services and infrastructure which enable millions of European consumers, businesses and governments to make electronic payments. It is not a credit card company, almost 80% of its business is on debit cards, and its members are responsible for issuing cards, signing up retailers and deciding cardholder and retailer fees.

Visa Europe operates a high volume, low cost business model that provides services to its members. Its surplus is reinvested into the business and used to improve capital and reserves.

There are 500m Visa cards in Europe, while €1 in every €6.50 spent in Europe is on a Visa card. In the year to September 2013, total expenditure on Visa cards reached €2 trillion, while point-of-sale spend increased by 8.5% to €1.4 trillion. Annual online spending on Visa cards continues to grow (20% year-on-year) and now stands at €240bn.

Since 2004, Visa Europe has been independent of Visa Inc. and incorporated in the UK, with an exclusive, irrevocable and perpetual licence in Europe.  Both companies work in partnership to enable global Visa payments. As a dedicated European payment system Visa Europe is able to respond quickly to the specific market needs of European banks and their customers - cardholders and retailers - and to meet the European Commission’s objective to create a true internal market for payments.

For more information, please visit visaeurope.com and follow us on Twitter: @VisaEuropeNews.