Overall, Christmas 2009 may be far better for retailers than expected, following a turbulent year for the retail sector. Many retailers have successfully adjusted their tactics to maximize sales and margins — such as reworking their assortments around lower price points. According to Kelkoo, sales in the six weeks to Christmas are expected to reach £44.7 billion this year and account for 18.5% of total annual retail spending. And the best bargains are likely yet to come in the final week before Christmas.
Online will be crucial this year. Consumers are expected to spend £8.9 billion online this Christmas, representing 20p in every £1 spent, and a 24% increase on previous years, according to research carried out by the Centre for Retail Research for Kelkoo. For example, UK internet shoppers are said to have spent £4,000 a second on Cyber Monday. John Lewis, for example expected sales of £4.5m on December 7 — five times more than a normal Monday. We anticipate a healthy Christmas for online, as 85% of consumers intend to maintain or increase their online shopping and more than a third (37%) will shop more online compared to last year, despite the prevailing tough economy.
For deal-conscious shoppers online retailers are increasingly offering online-only promotions and stealth reductions of up to 50%. Shoppers can find these deals through Web sites such as VoucherCodes which promote the special Internet deals and printable coupons from the likes of Argos, Tesco and Comet.