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Poor August weather may generate early festive shopping boom

14 August 2015 - 09:34 by Mike Price

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Consumer spending habits are significantly impacted by the weather, so it is no surprise that new figures from auction site, eBay, suggest that when poor conditions arrive in the summer months, many people start their Christmas shopping earlier than usual.

This is based on historic evidence that when it rains for a protracted period in August, people start carrying out searches for wintry items to buy via safe shopping online.

eBay notes that there was an 82 per cent spike in searches for Christmas stockings last year, when Hurricane Bertha hit the UK in early August.

Meanwhile in July of 2014, there were major rises in the number of searches for items, including Christmas trees and tinsel, during a single weekend period when the weather did not turn out to be all that favourable.

Interestingly, it seems that the Christmas spirit is awakened among people who have to buy presents for children, as bad weather during the summer can cause an increase in searches for toys and games aimed at youngsters.

Meanwhile, people are more inclined to pick up big ticket items, such as consumer electronics,  online that much earlier, if they are intending to give them as Christmas gifts.

Some people will be thoroughly perturbed by the idea of making purchases for Christmas many months in advance of December 25th, while others will feel that it is entirely natural to prepare when the opportunity arises. And if you are stuck inside due to bad weather when it is supposed to be the summer, then such activities may be appealing.

This August is not looking to be quite the washout that the UK has experienced in years gone by, but with a wet July just past, there will be some retailers benefiting from early Christmas sales.