Even though UK consumers are pressured by rising inflation, there is good news. According to think tank Fung Global Retail & Technology, we can expect a 5 per cent increase in retail sales over the November–December shopping period, adding nearly £4 billion to holiday sales and taking the seasonal total to £78.7 billion.
ONS data shows that beauty products will be in high demand this season, with major beauty houses expecting a ‘selfie-fuelled’ demand for colour cosmetics.
Top tech products will also be high on our gift lists this holiday season, with high-demand product launches such as the iPhone X (launching November 3); iPhone accessories such as AirPods; smart speakers, including Apple’s HomePod (launching in December); and new Amazon Echo devices such as the Echo Show (launching in the UK on November 16).
John Lewis has also said it is expecting tech toys to be among the biggest trends this festive season. The store’s toy expert, Harry Boughton, said: “This year we’re expecting to see a rise in the demand for toys that combine learning with fun and play.
“As technology continues to improve our day-to-day lives with the rise of smart home devices, tech toys have also seen a rise in popularity, and they’re set to be the biggest trend this Christmas”
Recent price data from the ONS shows, however, that inflation is likely to affect the cost of clothing (5.1 per cent), household appliances (6 per cent), and furniture and furnishings (7 per cent).
When it comes to shopping patterns, this year the general consensus is that consumers will push more of their shopping from November into December, due to the fact that December includes four Saturdays that precede Christmas Day. It was the same last year, but ‘Super Saturday’ fell on Christmas eve in 2016, and not many people risked leaving their shopping to such a late date. More people are likely to shop on Saturday, 23 December this year, than they did on Saturday, 24 December last year, giving retailers one extra full shopping days to push their wares.
At Beavis Morgan, our specialist advisers to the retail sector understand that in this competitive environment retail business owners must work hard to win customer loyalty, adapt to the ever-changing customer demands, increase productivity and strengthen their market position. We work with a number of retail businesses, helping them with strategic planning, business turnaround and improving business performance for the future.