Dec 8, 2022
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Half of UK consumers to spend less on fashion this Christmas - report

Dec 8, 2022

Consumers have taken a “direct hit” as the cost-of-living crisis eats into their Christmas finances and that’s going to dent their fashion spend, a new study from tax, audit and consultancy firm RSM claims.

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It said the overall average spend for Christmas will be down from £554 last year to £463 this year – a 16% drop.

The survey of 1,000 consumers found that 49% expect to spend less on clothing during the festive period, while toys, presents and stocking fillers will also be down with consumers planning to cut their spend on them by 43%, 42% and 40%, respectively.

Some 50% plan to cut back spending on socialising this Christmas, which puts the planned spending reduction on fashion into context — less socialising means less need for new clothes.

Asked where they had already cut back in the last three months, the top three answers were energy usage in response to soaring energy costs (45% said they had cut back), eating out (41% had cut back) and ordering takeaways (34% had cut back). 

The survey also found that 37% had no money left at the end of the month after paying for food, energy and household bills; with 83% ‘very’ or ‘quite concerned’ about the cost-of-living crisis. 

The survey was conducted in mid-November and Jacqui Baker, head of retail at RSM UK, said of it: “Consumers’ finances are taking a hit and they have little choice but to tighten their belts.

“The worst news came for fashion retailers who need to shift the multitudes of sequins they buy for the festive party season. Consumer footfall has been falling in recent weeks and the rail strikes are only adding to dampening consumer demand. On top of this, the mail strikes are seriously impacting on delivery times and turning consumers away, creating more headaches for retailers.”

Paul Newman, head of leisure and hospitality at RSM UK, added: “The festive trading period is when most hospitality businesses make the majority of their profits for the whole calendar year. With last year’s festivities severely impacted by Omicron, 2022 needs to deliver if the sector is to avoid a grim start to 2023 with a swathe of closures and job losses.”

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