Retailers braced for disappointing Christmas
Retailers are braced for a dire Christmas, with only 14% of shoppers expecting to spend more than last year, in anticipation of a hike in VAT rates in the New Year.
Christmas: consumers to curtail spending says survey
Despite encouraging figures from Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury's and others for the first half of this financial year, shoppers will be frugal and reluctant to splurge on expensive items this Christmas, a YouGov poll suggests.
James McCoy research director for YouGov SixthSense, said: "Many companies have pre-empted consumer reluctance to indulge in major purchases – Sony’s promise to return VAT on products bought before Christmas Eve is one such example.
"With a VAT hike coming in January, manufacturers essentially feel that it is now or never – extra effort must be made to encourage customers to buy big before prices are affected," he said.
Only 14% of UK consumers who celebrate Christmas said they would spend more than last year.
Almost one in four said they would spend less. Seven in 10 people planned to spend less than £50 combined on cards, a Christmas tree and decorations this holiday season.
A total of 46% said they intended to spend between £100 and £249 on food and drink at home, while another 36% aimed to stay under the £100 mark.
The poll reported that 36% of UK consumers said they would spend between £100 and £249 on gifts for friends and family, while 30% intended to spend between £250 and £499.
Another survey, the YouGov/ Bloomberg Household Economic Activity Tracker (H.E.A.T) suggested consumers are unwilling to spend on "big ticket" items.
Responding to the query: "Compared to one month ago [September], is now [October] generally a worse time or a better time to make major purchases?", 37% said they were in a worse position with only 6% saying that they were in a better position.
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