With John Lewis unveiling its Christmas advert this morning, it means the festive season has well and truly arrived. While this may have been met with a sigh from the Scrooges among us, new research from Barclays has revealed that UK retailers are more optimistic than ever about the Christmas period. According to the Barclays Christmas Survey 2015, 77% of retailers are more confident about Christmas trading this year compared to last year, with 79% expecting their revenue to increase. Even more encouragingly, 14% of these retailers predict that their revenue will rise by more than 10%.
The Christmas shopping period is expected to peak in three weeks’ time when Black Friday strikes and the study went on to reveal that 77% of UK retailers are planning to hold a Black Friday promotion this year, up from 73% last year. A further 69% of retailers expects sales to rise compared to Black Friday 2014, with only 4% of those surveyed anticipating a fall.
In terms of the sales channels that retailers predict to be the most popular, it’s hardly surprising that mobile came out on top, with 56% of respondents expecting it to see the biggest sales growth this year. The research revealed that, on average, retailers predict mobile sales will grow by 52% compared to last year. And, as far as delivery channels go, retailers expect click-and-collect to continue growing in popularity, with an estimated 25% increase in orders.
“The overwhelming confidence around prospects for the whole Christmas season is great to see,” said Ian Gilmartin, head of retail and wholesale at Barclays. “When Black Friday first came to the UK, the industry speculated about whether it was just a fad or would really take hold. This research shows that it appears to be here to stay as, for the first time, more than three quarters of retailers plan to hold a promotion. As long as retailers focus on selected lines and manage the level of discounting appropriately, this increased participation can contribute to a successful Christmas season.”
Here’s to a record-breaking Christmas for British retailers.