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VAT rise sees white goods demand surge

New research reveals a third of Brits plan to buy big ticket items ahead of January

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

VAT rise sees white goods demand surge

New research reveals a third of Brits plan to buy big ticket items ahead of January

Consumers are rushing out to buy items such as fridges and dishwashers in the run-up to Christmas as they look to beat January’s VAT rise.

Figures from price comparison site, Idealo.co.uk, reveal that the surge in interest for household appliances has come almost a month early this year, with search volumes for some products up by nearly 500%.

In comparison to figures for December 2009, searches for chest freezers have increased by 497%. Cookers (up by 151%) and dishwashers (up by 167%) have also seen strong levels of interest. Typically these products peak in January, as consumers take advantage of the sales but consumers have already begun planning their purchases.

These figures come as the IMRG predicts a record £6.4bn surge in online retail sales this month with the looming VAT increase expected to trigger a surge in big-ticket sales activity.

White goods and household items look set for a particularly difficult January. A new survey of more than a thousand UK consumers by Idealo found that 29% will think twice about buying big ticket items such as dishwashers and furniture in the New Year.

Further findings from the research reveal that:
• 52% of consumers will do more online research before making purchases once the VAT rise comes in
• 43% of consumers won’t buy electronic devices unless they can find a better deal than the first price they saw
• Nearly a fifth of Brits will think twice about buying everyday (18%) and luxury (21%) items due to the VAT rise
• 22% of consumers only buy white goods if they are reduced

“The surge in big ticket items this month was largely anticipated by retailers and we’re seeing many of the big names such as Comet and Best Buy introducing deals for January to maintain consumer interest,” said David McLoughlin at Idealo.co.uk.”

“Seeing consumers rushing to buy white goods during the festive season is certainly unusual,” he added. “I wouldn’t be surprised if there are a few kettles under the Christmas tree this year.”

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