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Retail

UK Shoppers Likely To Be Put Off Christmas Shopping Due To COVID-19

British shoppers are likely to be put off going Christmas shopping due to COVID-19 restrictions, with 37% saying they will avoid shopping in physical locations 'as much as possible', a new study has found.

The study, by Retail Economics and Klarna, found that just over a third (34%) of respondents said that they will avoid physical stores 'a little' due to regulations around COVID-19, while 30% said that said restrictions were not likely to impact them.

'Make Or Break'

“A successful Christmas trading period will be a make or break moment for many retailers who remain in survival mode following the impact of the pandemic," commented Retail Economics chief executive Richard Lim .

“The major shifts in spending this Christmas will be towards those retailers who offer the best online proposition and who have the capacity to cope with the levels of demand."

Digital Christmas

As a result of in-store restrictions, Christmas 2020 is likely to see the 'biggest online frenzy ever', according to the report, with e-commerce sales likely to ramp up again as the year draws to a close.

The study found that since the outbreak of coronavirus, 48% of shoppers have switched to purchasing products online that they would previously have bought in-store (with 52% saying that they haven't), and this pattern is likely to be a major influencer on the forthcoming Black Friday shopping event.

A third of shoppers said that they are planing to purchase a Christmas bargain during Black Friday, with 7% answering that they plan to do 'a lot' of Christmas shopping around the November event, and 26% saying that they are planning to do 'a little'.

Spending Controls

The report also examined whether shoppers are more likely to splash out this coming Christmas following a year of restrictive spending.

Just 4% of respondents said that they plan to spend 'much more' this coming Christmas, followed by 8% that said they were planning to spend 'a little more'.

More than a third (36%) of shoppers expect to cut back on their festive spending, the study found.

“The unfortunate reality is that many consumers will shun the high street in favour of online to avoid crowded shopping destinations and the frustrations that will come about from restrictive measures such as limiting shopper numbers in stores and shopping centres," Lim added.

“Christmas is likely to be much more planned this year as shoppers bring forward their festive spending to avoid these challenges. Black Friday will be more disruptive than ever as retailers extend the sales period to cope with demand."

© 2020 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.

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