Online rules supreme for savvy British shoppers - 5th January 2018


Regular readers of this blog will know that the phrase ‘online shopping’ pops up on many occasions, not least when we’re urging consumers to stay safe to avoid ruthless fraudsters.

So we weren’t surprised to read in a recent BBC article about the habits of UK shoppers this Christmas that retailers with strong online shopping operations continue to do well.

Next reported a 13.6% rise in online sales in the 54 days to December 24 while John Lewis said that two thirds of its Click-and-Collect orders were picked up by shoppers when they went grocery shopping to Waitrose stores.

Online retail giant Amazon might be staying silent on its Christmas trading figures, but you have only to see the number of brown envelopes around the office or van drivers dashing to neighbours’ doors to recognise its continued impact on the sector.

Another interesting trend is that although consumers are tightening their belts fiscally, that doesn't mean they are skimping on fancy food treats for visiting friends and family. Some supermarkets including Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Tesco reported a strong demand for their premium ranges over the festive season.

It seems the much-trumpeted Black Friday has been both a blessing and a curse for British retailers.

In some cases, it has brought spending forward as people take the opportunity to shop for presents and bargains, but then when prices return to normal in early December, they don't want to pay the full amount.

However, there has been criticism that deals aren’t as good as they seem, especially since some retailers routinely have multiple sales throughout the year.

Shoppers have also become wary of too many discounts. Christmas has traditionally been a crucial time for retailers, but this year, some began discounting the week before.

What does this year hold for the sector? Not everyone wants to buy everything online, but with the opportunity to obtain so many everyday products under one roof, retailers like Mothercare, which saw like-for-like sales fall 7.2% in the 12 weeks to 30 December despite an online presence, have much to fear.

It has also been reported this week that New Look, the fashion retailer, is weighing up a plan to close about 10% of its British stores with the South African-owned chain reportedly drawing up proposals for a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA).

The ongoing tumult facing on the High Street looks set to continue into 2018. We wonder which other big names will fall?


Favourite News Stories...

SW&A Accountants launches it's new website in March 2013 - it's been a long time in the making and has had a lot of input from the owners Neil and Andrew - Andrew says " the website was designed to showcase our services in a lively and informative manner " ...

Our company intends to ensure that our new website become not only a hub of activity but also somewhere as a useful source of information for our current and prospective clients. Neil stated '"it is my intention to use the website as a tool to communicate with out clients; this is something we will grow over the coming years to incorporate our informative blogs, news and social media work."

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