Merry mobile Christmas

Retail sales are forecast to grow 4% in December with one in three adults saying they will do their Christmas shopping online this year.

Figures from Mintel predict total retail sales growing to £40.6 billion providing a significant end of year boost for retailers.

The research specialist predicts multichannel shopping will be at the heart of consumers’ plans for this Christmas with online sales accounting for 16% of retail sales.

Mintel forecasts:

  • In the final quarter, shoppers will spend a total of £91 billion in stores and online (£88.1 billion in 2012).
  • Online sales are expected to be up 16% year-on-year, meaning online’s share of all retail sales will be a little over 12% or almost £5bn (including VAT) in December.
  • 34% of shoppers told us they will buy most of their presents online this Christmas.
  • 17% of consumers told Mintel they will be using click-and-collect for present-buying this Christmas.
  • 8% of shoppers say they’ll be buying gifts using their smartphone or tablet – but 10% will be using it to check information as part of a multichannel shopping journey.
  • With consumer confidence on the up, the economy recovering and unemployment falling, they expect the strong retail trend to continue into 2014.

Looking ahead to UK retail performance over the Christmas 2013 period, Mintel’s director of retail Richard Perks says: “Everything seems to be coming together at the right time for retailers this year and we expect to see a strong Christmas with year-on-year retail sales growth of 4% in December. We expect shoppers will spend £40.6 billion in total in December 2013.

“Online-only retailers, notably Amazon, will benefit from a forecast 16% uplift in online retail sales, while the major department stores, who are registering soaring internet sales, are also expected to be among the winners this Christmas.”

He added: “Consumers tend to shop online more when they are doing ‘shopping-list shopping’ such as buying gifts for other people – browsing in-store is more of a pleasure when you are buying for yourself.”

Harriet Rodgers of Pelican’s hospitality PR and communications team commented: “This year more than ever we will see online and mobile playing an ever greater part in Christmas shopping. Retailers need to remain competitive on price as consumers are still short of cash and will continue to use the internet to find the best possible value.”

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