Christmas 2013 is set to be the best Christmas since the recession started, with consumers spending at least £2bn more than in 2012 according to a new Verdict research. Consumer confidence drives spending and shoppers have far more reasons to be cheerful this year: the housing market is moving, job creation is outpacing cuts, and though PPI refunds and the Post Office float do not affect everyone, they have a further halo effect of boosting the view that at last things are getting better.
“On top of all this,” Maureen Hinton, research director at Verdict adds “during the recession there has been a baby boom which means one of the prime targets for Christmas spending, kids, is growing”.
Food as usual is the main focus for Christmas spending, but this year Verdict forecasts non-food sectors such as clothing will recover, including some growth in the home related sectors of homewares, furniture, DIY and gardening after years of declines. Hinton adds “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 totall sales by £600m.”
Patrick O’Brien, principal analyst at Verdict, also points out that “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.”
Verdict predicts consumers will leave spending to the last minute knowing they are in control of collecting their online purchases leading to Monday December 23rd being one of the busiest for online deliveries.