Experts warned yesterday that Britain has become addicted to discounts after retailers suffered their worst Christmas for decades.You mean, they knocked down all the prices to entice customers in before Christmas, and are now worried that people won’t want to pay the ‘full’ price later on? What economic trickery is this?!
And stores now face the daunting task of trying to sell products at full price this spring during a difficult time for the economy, with falling house prices and Sterling causing nervousness among consumers.
After all, how many sat-navs, flat-screen TVs and corner sofas do you need in one year anyway....?
Shoppers who shunned the High Street before Christmas have flocked to sales this weekend to cash in on massive discounts of as much as 90 per cent.And yet, when I could drag myself from my sickbed yesterday, it wasn’t exactly hopping in my local area.
Many retailers and shopping centres across the UK also opened their doors for their first Boxing Day trading in a desperate bid to attract shoppers.
Bluewater and Lakeside and other big retail outlets were reported as doing well, but there was a distinct air of ‘Nope, got all I want, thanks’ in the air...
'Consumers have realised that this is a waiting game you can take one step further,' said Jonathan De Mello, director of retail consultancy at Footfall's owner, Experian.Perhaps it’s time to reconsider the RRP level, chaps...?
'Rather than waiting for sales to begin before Christmas, people are saving up for Boxing Day when they know the 50 per cent discounts pre-Christmas become 70 per cent or even 90 per cent off. It seems people are willing to spend, but only at a price that is becoming unsustainable for retailers.'
The scale of the problem facing retailers will become evident next week when Marks & Spencer, Debenhams, Next and Ernest Jones-to-H Samuel owner Signet release their trading figures.That's going to make interesting reading....
Most are expected to report that sales are declining more rapidly than their most recent updates in autumn.