High street retailers have launched a variety of sales promotions to entice Christmas shoppers to spend their limited budgets with them as competition for the Christmas pounds reaches new heights.
It is expected that more than £1 billion will be spent today but the competition amongst stores to get their share of it means there are some great bargain opportunities for customers.
Retailers are hoping that the sheer value-for-money offered by some deals, with 65 per cent sale promotions means that shoppers will spend more than their budget as they are tempted by excellent offers.
Many retailers have to pay their next quarter’s rent on Christmas Day and securing enough sales and receipts to do that is their main priority. This has led to fierce competition and even more types of promotions.
The weather conditions are reasonable across most of the UK today so that is not expected to discourage people from venturing out to the shops.
The question that most retailers are asking themselves is whether they can tempt people to loosen their attempts to have an austerity Christmas or whether consumers will hold firm and stick to their limited budgets.
Another factor that is hurting retailers is the increased use of the internet to get the best prices on gifts. It is expected that sales on the high street will fall by 2.1 per cent this year down to £55.7 billion against a rise of 16.3 per cent in online spending, up to £13.4 billion.
Prices have been cut by many leading household names including Marks & Spencer, Argos, Comet and Debenhams. Retail sales fell in November despite many stores using promotions and sales even earlier than normal.
Stephen Robertson, of the British Retail Consortium, said: “Retailers know they need to fight hard for every pound that’s out there.”
It is expected that January will see more casualties on the High Street as pre-Christmas income will not be enough to cover the next quarters rent.
“The evidence suggests consumers have approached this Christmas with great caution, reining in their spending and leaving it late to start their shopping. The continuing high levels of pre-Christmas discounting and promotions are another symptom of weak demand, said Mr Robertson from the British Retail Consortium.”
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