December is the most prolific season in the UK and in many other areas worldwide for retailers and consumers and this is demonstrated by shopping behavior during this time. Retailers are in the process of revealing their Christmas sales over a period where we can compare results to last year, and understand why certain areas have achieved, and why some others have not. For Christmas 2017, discounters have enjoyed great growth, despite consumer spending remaining weak overall. Department stores and luxury food retailers on the other hand, have experienced the opposite outcome.
Data released by retailers this month shows their Christmas performance in financial terms. Discounters such as Aldi, Lidl and Poundland have come up at the top when comparing revenue growth from the same period the year before.
Aldi reported15% growth over the Christmas period as the German discounter attracted a lot of consumers through its special buy offers. Aldi, being a discounter already, has provided further reason for shoppers to go there by offering savings on already discounted products. Discounters like this, have proven to be a go to place for alcohol. Alcohol sales are the highest during this time of year.
It has not been such a joyful time for non-food retailers such as department stores like Debenhams. Debenhams with a 2.8% decrease over the Christmas period for the same time last year has struggled to keep investors on board due to this. This was shown by a plummeting share price of around 15% on the morning of January 4– just as these financial results for the Christmas period were announced.
The online segment for retailers is where the real sales growth has really come from. Despite a 2.8% decline in revenue for Debenhams, its mobile website still experienced a 20% increase showing that many of Debenhams’ sales are in store. Similarly, with Next, whose store performance still remains a challenge but its online side of the business seems to be doing very well, with an enhanced mobile user platform and efficient methods of delivery.
A Deloitte survey had shown that out of 4,000 Americans, it was said that 51% of shoppers were to do their shopping online this year, and this beats last year’s averages. The trend is to continue in future years where online shopping becomes increasingly popular. Discounters which operate online seem to have come out the winners this year, like Aldi for example, which offers a swift online experience.
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