2017 has been a challenging year for retailers and while consumers have continued to open their wallets, they’ve done so more shrewdly.
According to research carried out by PWC, majority of shoppers plan to spend less overall this Christmas and almost half decided to leave their shopping until last minute, despite a stable consumer outlook.
December 22 is the first time in 11 years that the last full shopping day before Christmas has landed on a Saturday, and coincides with many workers receiving their pay checks the day before. As a result, retailers are preparing for possibly their busiest days of 2017 on December 22nd and 23rd.
The last-minute rush poses a number of stock and logistics challenges for retailers, not to mention the stress of extended trading hours.
However, despite the cautious spending, IMRG estimates that online retail spend on Christmas day will reach £844m, which represents a 6.3% uplift on the same day in 2016. Whereas Boxing Day is forecasted to exceed a billion for the first time, reaching £1.03bn, a 7.9% increase on last year.
As the post-Christmas sales start to roll out, retailers will not only be fighting to stay on top of shoppers trying to grab a bargain, they will also be attempting to keep up with those looking to return unwanted gifts. It has been found that more than one in three people will return a gift after Christmas Day.
Christmas is an extremely busy period for retailers but if they plan well and put effective measures in place they should reap the benefits.