The BRC’s Christmas Trading Snapshot survey found that 42% of retailers think this Christmas will be better that last year, while the rest said trading would be no worse than last year. None of the retailers predicted Christmas sales to be worse than last year.
Almost half of retailers expect there to be more discounting and promotions this year and 53% think that December trading figures will be boosted by shoppers bringing forward purchases to avoid the VAT increase on 1 January.
Stephen Robertson, British Retail Consortium Director General, says that it’s reassuring that retailers are more confident but warns that comparisons are based on “dramatic sales falls” last year.
He added: “There are more customers willing and able to spend now but, for many retailers, it’s taking even more discounts to persuade them to buy.”
The BDO weekly sales tracker says sales are being buoyed by demand for luxury and gift items in the run up to Christmas with total like for like sales up 6.7% in the week ending 6 December.