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17 Million Brits Finished Christmas Shopping While Shops Were Closed – Forbes

17 Million Brits Finished Christmas Shopping While Shops Were Closed – Forbes

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With non-essential retail re-opening last week, retailers hopes have been pinned on a last minute surge of shoppers flocking to stores. After a difficult year with multiple lock downs and tumbling footfall, many businesses are looking to Christmas sales to boost bottom lines and bring them into a more stable and prosperous 2021.

Early indications were that footfall did spike week on week as lock down lifted. However, new research from the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) brings worrying news to those hoping for a sustained retail revival. A survey of over 2000 adults suggests that a third (33%) of consumers, or around 17 million people having completed their Christmas shopping during the November lock down.

This figure is 75% higher than the same time last year, where only 19% of shoppers, or around 10 million consumers had completed their Christmas shopping during the month of November.

Fear of missing out

This year has seen many shoppers getting organised with their festive purchasing earlier than ever before for many reasons including a desire to get into the festive spirit, a need to spread out the cost of purchasing and concerns over shipping delays.

Survey respondents in the CIM research shopped early due to a fear of missing out on their most desired gifts because of lock down disruptions. Online shopping, which many retailers had identified as a key factor to success in 2020 allowed these early shoppers to complete their purchases while physical stores remained closed. Almost half of those surveyed (47%) had bought more online.

While younger shoppers in their 20s and 30s were more likely to have completed their Christmas shopping than older customers, the biggest jump actually came from older customers.  Only 16% of 45-54 year olds had completed their Christmas shopping during November 2019, this has jumped to 28% in 2020.

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Mark Dodds, chair of CIM’s food, drink and agriculture group said:

“This is serious news for many retailers. The high street was struggling before the pandemic, with many retailers reliant on the critical Christmas period for their sales. If seven million fewer people are going to be hitting the shops this December, then it could be devastating for shops that depend on Christmas footfall.”

Published at Tue, 08 Dec 2020 12:04:18 +0000

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Written by Riel Roussopoulos

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