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Retailers to see best Christmas sales growth since 2007: new study

A new study has forecast that Christmas 2013 is set to be the best Christmas for retailers since 2007, with consumers spending at least £2 billion more than in 2012.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Retailers to see best Christmas sales growth since 2007: new study

A new study has forecast that Christmas 2013 is set to be the best Christmas for retailers since 2007, with consumers spending at least £2 billion more than in 2012.

Market research company Verdict is predicting that spending will grow to £88.4 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013 which includes £52 billion spent on non-food and £36.4 billion on food and grocery items.

Verdict gives a number of reasons for the rise in spending including an improved housing market, job creation outpacing cuts, PPI refunds and the Post Office float, as well as a baby boom. Maureen Hinton, research director at Verdict, said: “During the recession there has been a baby boom which means one of the prime targets for Christmas spending, kids, is growing.”

Although Verdict expects food to be the main focus for Christmas spending this year, it predicts that non-food sectors will recover with growth in the home related sectors of homewares, furniture, DIY and gardening after years of declines.

Hinton added: “Though consumers will still be looking for value and discounting will continue to be rife in non-food sectors, there will be an increase in volumes this year, which will boost their total sales by £600 million.”

Verdict is also forecasting that consumers will leave Christmas spending to the last minute this year as they know that they will be able to control their online deliveries through click & collect services. With Monday 23 December expected to be one of the busiest days of the year for online deliveries, click & collect is expected to produce sales of £11.6 billion and growth of 12% this year.

Patrick O’Brien, principal analyst at Verdict, said: “Shoppers have greater confidence in online retailing now and are prepared to leave holiday purchases right up until just before Christmas. This is supported by the rise of Click & Collect services, which will be much more in evidence this year. Retailers have rushed to develop and market their click & collect services leaving shoppers the convenience of collecting purchases in store instead of having to ensure they are at home at the right time.” 

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