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Pre-Christmas discounts to hit record high this year

By Vivian Hendriksz

16 Dec 2016


Consumers across the country are set to reap the benefits as retailers offer the biggest pre-Christmas discount to date.

For the sixth year running discounts have hit a new record, according to new data from Deloitte, who analyzed more than 300,000 products for sale in the UK. Discounts currently average 43.3 percent, which is 1.5 percent more than the same period last year and the seasonal volatility of sales is predicted to lead to record pre-Christmas discounts of 54 percent by Christmas Eve.

Fashion retailers who are currently offering at least 30 percent off on Christmas related gifts and items, such as partywear and knitwear include online player Asos, Warehouse and Whistles. Although retailers tend to sell products at higher discounts to shift unwanted and excess stock, this year's discounting is said to reflect the changeability of UK weather as well as consumers shifting spending habits, as they tend to favour spend on leisure activities like going out to eat rather than shopping.

"The fact that we have seen such deep discounts so early is an indication of the level of nervousness from the high street," said Jason Gordon, consumer analytics partner at Deloitte in a statement. "Economic uncertainty in 2017, particularly around how increasing inflation will affect consumer confidence and spending, has encouraged retailers to err on the side of caution. Deep discounts, calculated using increasingly sophisticated analytical tools, will help retailers shift stock and remain competitive before the uncertainties that lie ahead."

Weekends remain a key favourite moment for retailers when it comes to the timing of promotions, added Deloitte, with Christmas Eve, falling on a Saturday this year, likely to be a pivotal moment for sales, especially in-store. "Last-minute shoppers on Christmas Eve could benefit not only from being able to make use of Saturday’s full day of trading, but also from the deepest cuts that we have seen for some time," added Gordon.

"Boxing Day, on the following Monday, will kick off a full week of deeper-than normal discounts until the start of the New Year."

Photo: Pexels