Shoppers cut Christmas spending

Shoppers are expected to cut back spending on gifts this year, in favour of spending more on food and drink according to Verdict research.

The market research company says overall spend will fall by £535m during the last three months of the year as shoppers cut back for the first time since Verdict began recording Christmas spend in 1989.

Spending on gifts including electricals and homewares are expected to drop most significantly while consumers are expected to increase the amount spent on food and drink.

Verdict says grocery, health and beauty and clothing are expected to do well this year as women focus on making sure their families “look and feel good, eat well and have a good time”.

Maureen Hinton, lead retail analyst at Verdict says that the decline in spending will not result in more retail casualties, and many high street retailers will do better this year thanks to the exit of chains such as Zavvi and Woolworths.

“The big players are investing sizeable amounts of money in advertising campaigns to make sure it is them rather than their competitors that gets their custom,” she says.

Online sales are expected to reach £6.8bn according to Verdict, a spending increase of £132 per person, in contrast to a £10.50 reduction per person overall.

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