Christmas hit by snow delays?
The Christmas shopping rush may have been set back a week by inclement weather conditions, according to a new report.
The big freeze in Britain and the travel chaos resulting from it means that many shoppers have stayed at home
over the first weekend of December – usually a massive trading
opportunity for retailers.
While the snow and ice has brought the traditional spike in seasonal purchases – fashion sales are up 2.8% year-on-year according to figures released by BDO’s High Street Sales Tracker – growth is lower than comparable figures from this time last year.
The weather has apparently hit online sales too, with people unwilling to risk getting orders lost in a backlog of deliveries stacked up while delivery vehicles are confined to depots. Though non-store year-on-year growth is still 27.6%, this is against the November 2009 growth of 39.2%.
Retailers are now gearing up for a busy early December.
"The weather has put people off shopping, but it’s come so early consumers still have time to do their Christmas shopping," says BDO head of retail Don Williams. "This weekend would normally be the big weekend for festive purchases, but most people will wait until the snow has cleared before returning to the high street.
"Retailers will be nervous, but the fact we’ve had this snowfall at the end of November rather than mid-December means they won’t have to panic discount."
Has your Christmas trading started slowly due to the weather? Please let us know.