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Retailers need strong December performance to offset sluggish November sales

04 December 2013 - 12:43 by Simon Crisp

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The latest figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC), show that sales increased by just 0.6 per cent last month, suggesting not only that consumers are a little strapped for cash at the moment, but also that they are saving up to take advantage of the Christmas deals which will be on offer in December.

This week played host to Mega Monday, the busiest day for shopping online of the year so far, with analysts predicting that about £450 million was spent via e-commerce sites in a single 24 hour period.

This big boost for the retail sector, or at least the online portion of it, is just the start of an extended spending spree, which always defines the final month of the year, with insiders confident that e-commerce will exceed previous records by a significant margin.

IGD spokesperson, Joanne Denney-Finch, said that 60 per cent of Brits are planning to spend more in 2013 when buying food for the Christmas period than they did in 2012, with 40 per cent paying closer attention to the quality of the items they are ordering online.

People also reported in a recent study that they are waiting until later in the year to pick up the food and gift items they need to keep the festivities going, which implies a desire to leverage the discounts and offers that retailers now give to help drum up sales.

Low prices used to arrive with the turning of the new year, but retailers have become more and more desperate to outdo rivals and net more sales that price cuts land well before December 25th.

This is good for consumers, which in turn will, hopefully, make the British retail industry a little healthier as a whole.