Sep 30, 2021
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Supply chain issues point to early Christmas shopping season says report

Sep 30, 2021

Christmas shopping is expected to see an early start this year in the UK with a survey showing only 9% of shoppers will leave it until December to make their purchases.

Photo: Pexels/Public domain

That’s according to Sensormatic’s ShopperTrak footfall index, which also predicted the busiest shopping days for the season both in Britain and a number of other markets.

It said that while traditional footfall spikes are expected on Super Saturday (December 18) and on the day before Christmas Eve, making them the first and second-busiest shopping days, “festive footfall is expected to start rising earlier this year”.

That will come “as shoppers look to get ahead, heeding warnings of supply chain disruption, which many retailers, including John Lewis, as well as the BRC, are already calling around possible shelf gaps and low stock availability for Christmas”.

The survey of over 1,000 UK shoppers by Sensormatic showed 79% will start Christmas shopping before the beginning of December.

But as mentioned, the Saturday before Christmas is still expected to be the busiest day of the season. Although it will be interesting to see exactly how busy it will be. Sensormatic said that heading into the second Christmas season of the pandemic, in-store UK retail traffic year to-date is down 37.7% compared to 2019 pre-pandemic levels.

The comparison year-on-year will perhaps be an easy one given that mounting fears over Covid muted some of the activity on Super Saturday last year — although Britons still managed to spend around £1.6 billion on the day.

Having mentioned the expected first and second busiest days of the season, the company is forecasting that a trio of Saturdays will be next. December 11 will be third busiest, followed by November 27 (which is the day after Black Friday), and December 4.

Sensormatic also said that the busiest shopping days of the Holiday season in the US will be Black Friday then Super Saturday. In France they’ll be the first day of the sales, January 15, followed by Super Saturday; in Germany December 11 followed by November 27; in Italy January 6 then January 8; in Spain January 2 then January 3; and in China October 9 then January 1.

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