Press releases

Consumers to benefit from fifth year of record pre-Christmas discounts

16 December 2015

  • Discounts currently average 41.8%, and will rise to 45% by the weekend before Christmas, the deepest discounts since 2008
  • Mild autumn and disappointing in store Black Friday sales volumes key drivers for discounts
  • Spread of discounts set to grow and velocity of trading expected to increase

For the fifth year in a row, consumers are enjoying bigger pre-Christmas discounts than they did in the previous year, according to analysis from Deloitte, the business advisory firm. The research includes analysis of almost two million products for sale in the UK.

Following a particularly mild autumn, many retailers, particularly those in fashion, will be trying to clear unsold winter stock during what is the most important trading period of the year. This seasonal volatility, combined with unexpectedly low Black Friday sales volumes, have contributed to record pre-Christmas discounts, both in store and online.

Jason Gordon, consumer business partner at Deloitte, said: “Compared to 2014, there is already a noticeable increase in both the volume and value of discounts in the run up to Christmas this year. Whilst this is good news for consumers looking to grab a bargain, it is a clear sign that retailers are being faced with what is now an annual uphill battle.

“Consumer buying habits and seasonal weather patterns are no longer sureties in the market. Retailers will have to consider implementing more flexible sourcing and trading strategies to cope with the volatility in demand.”

Deloitte’s analysis has found that there is already a very wide spread of discounts across the market, ranging between 5.6% and 90.9% and currently averaging at 41.8%. These discounts will continue to grow in number and size, with average discounts of more than 53% anticipated after Christmas.

Weekends remain key 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.

Gordon said: “Christmas falls on a Friday this year, and, given the disappointing sales so far, we would expect the majority of retailers to launch their final big pre-Christmas discounts on the Saturday before Christmas. Limited Sunday trading hours on the Boxing Day weekend may also lead to slightly deeper-than-usual discounts in the post-Christmas sales window.”

End

Notes to editors

About the research
Deloitte analyses the prices of more than 1.9 million products, and tracks discounting both in-store and online.

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 www.deloitte.co.uk/about 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.

George Parrett
Deloitte LLP
+44 (0) 20 7007 7285
gparrett@deloitte.co.uk

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