Expect UK Christmas spend to fall, clothing/footwear gifting to suffer - report
Yet another report surfaces that shows UK retailers can expected a tough festive trading season. Consumer spending is set to fall 3% on 2021 to £82.2 billion during the six weeks leading up to Christmas, with gifting spending hit the hardest, according to a VoucherCodes study.
And beware, clothing and footwear are expected to be lower down on the gift list this year.
Again, with the report citing increased financial pressure as a result of the cost-of-living crisis, Christmas sales are expected to dip by £2.51 billion on a year ago, and fall below 2019’s pre-pandemic £83.1 billion spend as record inflation hits cash-strapped shoppers. At least sales are not expected to plummet to the levels seen at Christmas 2020, during the peak of the pandemic (£79.7 billion).
Sales of Christmas gifts are set to be hit the most of any category with the report forecasting a 6.8% decline in gift spending compared to 2021 (£11.59 billion vs £12.44 billion).
And gift spending on clothing and footwear is expected to decline 12.1%, with jewellery at -11.1%. Consumer electricals is expected to be the category hardest hit.
The report said almost half of Britons are worse off financially now than in the run-up to Christmas 2021 and 19.7% of the population also admitted they're significantly worse off than before last Christmas.
VoucherCodes MD Maureen McDonagh said: “It comes as no surprise that consumers will be much more conscious than ever with Christmas spending. We anticipate customers will be looking to shop early to spread the cost of Christmas and make cutbacks where they can, particularly on gifting, as they prioritise spending on other areas this festive season."
She added: “Now more than ever, brands need to offer proven value to customers. Initiatives, such as offering discounts early in the Christmas shopping season to help out customers looking to spread the cost of Christmas, providing market-leading discounts on popular and essential products, and running extra value shopper incentives are just a few key ways retailers can build trust with their customers this Christmas.
"We expect that those brands who show their customers’ needs are front of mind will ultimately see the best performance this Christmas.”
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