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Record levels of discounting expected in run-up to Christmas

New research has revealed that UK shoppers will enjoy record levels of pre-Christmas discounting this year.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Record levels of discounting expected in run-up to Christmas

New research has revealed that UK shoppers will enjoy record levels of pre-Christmas discounting this year.

Following analysis of more than 800,000 products by Deloitte, retail discounts were found to currently average 43.6%. The firm is now predicting that average retail discounts could rise to a new record of 48% by Christmas Eve.

Deloitte said a contributing factor in the uplift has been an over-supply of unwanted stock, caused in part by the mild winter weather this year. In addition, consumers have come to expect heavy discounting in the run-up to Christmas.

Deloitte’s analysis has found that there is already a wide spread of discounts across the retail market, with discounts ranging from less than 2% to over 80%. The firm predicts that these will continue to grow in number and size, with average discounts of more than 52% expected from Boxing Day onwards.

Jason Gordon, lead consumer analytics partner at Deloitte, said: “Christmas falling on a Tuesday, shorter Sunday opening hours and many choosing the weekend prior to Christmas to travel to friends or family will complicate the last few crucial days trading. This is why we expect retailers to ramp up their discounting earlier than normal in an attempt to clear stock.

“On the one hand, deeper discounting is clearly good news for consumers, but at the same time retailers are seeing margins eroded, significantly for some, at a time when sales volumes should be peaking.”

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