Retail sales should rise by 4% next month, according to Deloitte

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Retailers ‘on course for Christmas sales boost’

Retailers should benefit from a 4% year-on-year sales rise next month, according to Deloitte

Tuesday 25 November 2014

Retailers should benefit from stronger sales this Christmas, with Deloitte predicting that consumers will spend around £1.5 billion more than they did last year.

New research from the business advisory firm indicates that retail sales could increase at an annual rate of 4% during December, with £42.4 billion likely to be spent overall.

Growing digital demand

With more Britons making use of digital technologies, the group believes that online sales will make up 13% of the retail sector’s total sales next month.

A growing consumer appetite for online shopping tools may force physical retailers to re-think some of their business practices in the coming weeks.

According to Deloitte, 40% of the sales achieved by bricks and mortar stores will be influenced by digital technologies in some way.

In-store technologies

Commenting on these trends, the firm’s head of retail, Ian Geddes, said people are using digital devices to compare store prices and make payments.

He added that this could have implications for the apps which retailers have developed.

The expert said: “Those retailers that have invested in developing apps may now find that if these are only optimised for use as a separate channel, rather than an integrated part of the shopping experience, they will not be fit for purpose.”

By investing more money in their in-store technologies, retailers might be able to join up the “online and offline worlds” more effectively, and attract more customers, Mr Geddes suggested.

The rise of click-and-collect services

Among their other findings, Deloitte’s researchers found that click-and-collect services are having a growing impact on the retail sector.

The firm believes that products worth a combined £2.5 billion will be ordered on the web this Christmas and then collected by consumers in physical stores.

Click-and-collect services could have an influence on 45% of all online purchases this festive season, it noted, nearly double the proportion achieved last December.

‘Fragmenting market’

Commenting on these findings, Mr Geddes said retailers might need to change elements of their in-store experiences to cater specifically for click-and-collect customers.

Deloitte’s research shows that a “fragmenting” click-and-collect market has now emerged in the UK, with airports and train stations among the locations where people can pick up the items they buy online.

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Copyright Press Association 2014

According to Deloitte, 40% of the sales achieved by bricks and mortar stores will be influenced by digital technologies in some way.

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