The latest research from Mintel could be cheerful news for housewares stockists. The analyst predicts that December’s retail sales will reach £48.7bn, growing 3.8% compared to last December when sales hit £46.9bn. In-store experiences (key to many Cookshops) as well as “ethical production” and, of course, value will be important drivers for consumers this Christmas.
“Although the high street may be under pressure, over half (53%) of shoppers think visiting stores is a good way to get into the festive experience,” says Nick Carroll, associate director of retail research at Mintel. “Therefore the run up to Christmas is a great opportunity to get shoppers into stores and enthused about the physical shopping experience.”
He continued: “Those retailers that can provide valued experiences while tapping into other underlying trends, such as local sourcing and ethical production, combined with attracting value-conscious shoppers, will put themselves in a good position this festive season.”
Mintel forecasts that December will result in steady growth for the retail sector with the past few festive periods showing that customers can be resilient in the face of uncertain times, with underlying demand predicted to hold up reasonably well.
Sales through non-food retailers this December are expected to reach £23.9bn billion (to include £4.2bn from online sales generated by physical stores).
In the battle between clicks and bricks, Mintel estimates that internet pure players (online only retailers) will account for £6.0bn worth of sales.
The company forecasts total online sales this December will be worth £11.6bn, accounting for 23.7% of all retail sales.
Top: Consumers enjoy the festive experience in stores – image of Barkers in Northallerton, which is holding various Christmas themed events.