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November disappoints but Christmas isn't cancelled, says BDO

Published: 13 December 2012
Retailers hoping for a last-minute Christmas boost from shoppers won't be disappointed, said national head of retail and wholesale at BDO, Don Williams.
November disappoints but Christmas isn't cancelled, says BDO
While retail sales figures for November revealed that customers felt cautious about spending last month and held back, Mr Williams has warned retailers not to be spooked.

BDO's November High Street Sales Tracker showed that like-for-like sales dipped slightly by 0.2% year-on-year, with footfall also hit by poor weather towards the end of the month.

The non-fashion and homewares sectors performed slightly better, with like-for-like sales up 0.5% on the same period last year but demand was said to be subdued across the board.

BDO's Mr Williams commented: "The figures don't look great...But people will not cancel Christmas. They are just following the trend of the Christmas period getting later every year thanks to extended opening hours and better online shopping services, and the atrocious weather has just given them another reason to delay their festive shopping. There is every indication this Christmas will be better than last year."

And the multiples are doing their best to capitalise on the last-minute spending, with a host of promotions on Christmas products and home ranges. B&Q is running 25% off all artificial trees, as well as a '3 for 2' promotion on all lights and decorations. It also continues to push the Kitchen Compare website and its own kitchen ranges.

Homebase has followed suit with half price on trees, Christmas lights and selected homewares ranges but is also offering up to 50% off its fitted bedroom furniture, as homeowners look to spruce up their homes over the festive period.

In the garden sector, Dobbies is running '3 for 2' on all Christmas decorations, as well as running promotions in its cafes to entice customers in, while The Garden Centre Group is offering discounts on Christmas ranges for its Gardening Group members. It is also pre-empting the early gardening season by encouraging customers to pre-order plug plants online to be delivered after February 25.

Making the most of shoppers' ever-increasing expectations and desire for convenience, Next has just unveiled a new campaign that allows shoppers to order as late as 9pm for next-day delivery.

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