December retail sales forecast falls

Synovate Retail Performance has published its footfall forecast for December.
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Expectations are that non-food shopping trips in December will be down by 7.3 per cent from 2007, a worse prediction than the 4 per cent estimated back in July.

The firm expects retailers to use every tactic at their disposal to increase consumer motivation to shop in their stores in order to avoid a ‘crisis Christmas’.

Synovate’s Dr Tim Denison said: “Despite some of the pecuniary pressure lightening, current evidence is that the number of non-food shopping tips being made by households in the UK is still falling and likely to fall further.

“However, retailers are using every tactic at their disposal to stimulate trade and by our calculations, last week’s promotional activities bolstered retail footfall on the High Street by as much as four per cent, so it is certainly not the case that all is lost and cannot be influenced by retail strategists.

“Where there are compelling offers, there is still latent demand but retailers cannot afford to run such deep-cut events every day in the run-up to Christmas, so inevitably the effect of the stimuli will, unless very creatively renewed, be sporadic and short-lived.”

Denison is forecasting a very different Christmas to that of recent years with consumers returning to a back-to-basics approach and shunning commercialism. He expects shoppers to concentrate on spending where it means the most to them, particularly for children.

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