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Major Pre-Christmas Discounting Trend Emerges

17 December 2019 - 13:08 by Simon Crisp

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British retailers are slashing prices to try and coax consumers to spend more in the run-up to Christmas this year, with clothing chains opting for the steepest discounts according to a new report from Deloitte.

Both products available via safe shopping online as well as those sold in-store were covered in the study, which revealed that price cuts are larger across the board this year than almost any other period.

Report spokesperson Jason Gordon said that the challenging nature of the UK’s retail environment at the moment, with a lack of confidence amongst consumers fuelled by uncertainty about the nation’s future economic stability, was forcing brands to put greater emphasis on pre-Christmas discounting.

Of course, the last decade has seen a steady rise in the number of sales being brought forward to before the new year rather than beginning in January, as was traditional before the dawn of the e-commerce era.

Black Friday is also blamed for setting consumer expectations for discounts ahead of the festive season, meaning that even without the other issues causing uncertainty at the moment, retailers would still need to incentivise spending with deals.

Gordon also pointed out that at this point, there was less of a well-defined sales period within which prices could be definitively lower than at any other time. Instead, the industry has entered a state of almost perpetual discounting, with the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales bleeding into the other Christmas price reduction offers that retailers present to customers in December.

Finding half-price clothing in many major outlets has become easier than ever this year, with firms like Debenhams, M&S and Top Shop all mentioned in the study. This is good for consumers in the short term but points to more challenges for retailers going forwards.