Press releases

Consumers enjoying bigger pre-Christmas discounts for fourth year in a row

8 December 2014

  • Unsold winter stock and prevalence of Black Friday promotions driving discounts
  • Spread of discounts set to grow and velocity of trading expected to increase, with a number of key trading weekends still to come

For the fourth year in a row, consumers are enjoying bigger pre-Christmas discounts than they did last year, according to analysis from Deloitte, the business advisory firm. An unseasonably warm autumn has left many retailers, especially in fashion, trying to clear unsold winter stock as they enter the most important trading period of the year.

For many, the discounting season kicked off with the Black Friday weekend, the biggest ever seen in the UK. However, all is not as it seems, with some retailers buying in stock specifically with pre-Christmas discounting in mind.

Jason Gordon, consumer business partner at Deloitte, said: “At the moment we are seeing marginally deeper pre-Christmas reductions than last year, and the success of Black Friday has demonstrated the UK consumers’ appetite for a bargain. However, retailers need to be careful not to create a consumer that is only willing to buy heavily discounted items, especially as a lot of the products reduced on Black Friday were ‘bought for sale’.”

Deloitte finds that there is already a wide spread of discounts across the market, ranging from 8% to 78%. They are likely to grow in number and size, with discounts of up to 90% anticipated after Christmas.

Weekends remain the key days for retailers when it comes to the timing of promotions, with the last weekend before Christmas set to be pivotal both in-store and online, thanks to the growth of click and collect.

Gordon said: “Christmas falls on a Thursday this year, so retailers could wait until early that week to make their final big pre-Christmas discounts, but we predict they will come before that, on the final weekend. Looking beyond Christmas, at the current sales velocity we will have noticeably deeper discounts from Boxing Day.”


Notes to editors

About Deloitte
In this press release references to Deloitte are references to Deloitte LLP, which is among the country's leading professional services firms.

Deloitte LLP is the United Kingdom member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”), a UK private company limited by guarantee, whose member firms are legally separate and independent entities. Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of DTTL and its member firms.

The information contained in this press release is correct at the time of going to press.

Member of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited.

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