Big ticket items set for festive boost

LONDON - OCTOBER 28:  Shoppers browse wrist watches in a jeweller's shop window display on October 28, 2008 in central London, England. Retail figures showed some resilience against the onslaught of the financial crisis in October, but with predictions of worse to come, retailers are bracing themselves for a potentially disappointing Christmas.  (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Consumers’ confidence in purchasing big ticket items has increased ahead of Christmas, retail experts reveal.

According to the GfK Consumer Confidence Index, despite overall confidence being down this year, there has been an increase in shoppers willing to buy high-value items, suggesting that while consumers are nervous about the wider economic environment, they are not so concerned about their personal situation.

“That could mean a bit of extra joy on Christmas morning from those opening more luxurious presents than they were expecting,” says the BRC in its festive report. However, the retail trade association predicts this Christmas will not outperform last year by much.

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According to research conducted by VoucherCodes. co.uk and the Centre for Retail Research, British families will spend an average of £821.25 on Christmas this year. This includes gifts, food and drink and decorations, with gifts taking up £244 per adult. This would be an increase of 1.3% on last year, where the same survey predicted a spend of £809.97.

Thanks to all the festivities that occur during Christmas time, December is the biggest month of the year for retailers in the UK.

Last year over £43 billion was spent in December, accounting for 12.5% of the year’s sales. This was an increase of 6.8% on the ONS figures from December 2015, and retailers will be hoping that the UK’s shoppers will be spending even more this year.

December is particularly critical for non-food retailers, even more so due to the gifts purchased for friends and family at this time of year.

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