Ho Ho Ho
Brits are expected to spend £42.8bn – £1.6bn more than Christmas 2015, according to analysis from Deloitte, the business advisory firm.
Significantly, online retail sales are expected to grow by more than a fifth (21 per cent) from 2015, with values likely to surpass £7bn for the first time, a considerable increase from £5.8bn last year. As a result, December’s online retail sales will account for three-quarters (74 per cent) of total retail sales growth year-on-year. According to recent research from Deloitte, online purchasing (48%) has overtaken instore purchasing (45 per cent) for the first time, and this trend looks set to continue during the festive period.
Ian Geddes, head of retail at Deloitte, said: “Retailers can expect to receive more than a lump of coal in their stockings this Christmas. Sales prospects for the golden quarter are looking good for the UK retail industry, who will feel an uplift following last year’s disappointing November and December.
“Events such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday have dragged forward consumers’ Christmas spending into the end of November. However, there are a number of other factors present that will give a boost to retail sales over the festive period. Christmas on a Sunday will maximise the opportunity for consumers to grab a bargain in the sales that follow.
“In addition, the value of sterling means that consumers are more likely to stay in the UK during the Christmas break. At the same time, tourists’ buying power is greater, and we have already seen the effects of this, particularly in the luxury sector.
“Whilst the economic fundamentals for consumers are still looking healthy, with growing employment and wages, retailers will be wary about what lies ahead in 2017. Consumer confidence will be tested by macroeconomic uncertainty and inflationary pressures. Never will it be more important for retailers to focus on accelerating productivity and profitability. Having robust business models, with an emphasis on delivering the best possible customer experience will be crucial to competitiveness.”