Bargain-hunting Britons to clearance shop from home this Christmas Day

UK shoppers are more bargain-focused than ever this Christmas shopping season and that’s bad news for the fashion sector as many plan to cut back on clothing buys. Meanwhile almost as many will shop on Christmas Day specifically to make the most of markdowns.

UK consumers will shop the clearance sales from the comfort of their homes this Christmas day

In fact, 26% of consumers plan to digitally shop on December 25, research from retail marketing agency Savvy has shown, and those discount-focused shopping ‘trips’ will be a result of many of them reining-in their typical festive season spending in the weeks leading up to the big day.

The company surveyed 1,000 household shopping decision-makers and also found that 58% will do more of their gift shopping online this year. Some 32% of respondents also said that they’re going to spend less on decorations while 28% will cut back on going out. 

But worse, as many as 30% will buy less clothing for Christmas 2017. And another issue that could affect the fashion and beauty sectors is that 22% will be buying fewer gifts for those friends and family who are outside of their most intimate circle, while a majority (65%) of shoppers say they’re influenced by discounts this year.

Alastair Lockhart, insight director at Savvy, said that the recent Black Friday-linked discounts came as retailers felt nervous about the season and had more of a feeling of desperation like the lengthy January sales than a one-day spectacular designed to tempt people to start their Christmas spend.

He added that the “toxic combination of weak sales momentum and discounting could have worrying implications” and “retailers will be hoping for a pre-Christmas sales surge in the final weeks.” However, savvy doesn’t expect that surge to happen and said its research suggests “that the slowing retail spending momentum we’ve seen in October and November is likely to continue throughout the 'Golden Quarter’.”

Also likely to dent the traditional gift-buying month is that 18% of shoppers now buy the bulk of their gifts throughout the year while 21% bought most of them on Black Friday, leaving little room for retailer discounts to lure them in during December.

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