It seems that Marks & Spencer boss Stuart Rose’s advice to retailers to hold fire on pre-Christmas Sales at the Drapers Summit last month has fallen on deaf ears.
As the countdown to Christmas continues, retailers are starting to buckle under the pressure to get sales at any cost. Markdowns on the high street are up to 50%, with businesses offering all manner of discounts to get cautious shoppers to part with their cash (see Drapers Xmas Sale Watch).
People always spend money at Christmas – so they say – and it will be the credit card bills that will give shoppers the real New Year hangover.
But in a way, it is inevitable that after such a tough year of trading, worries over the credit crunch and predictions of a house price crash, it was always asking a little too much of retailers to believe shoppers were just leaving it a little late this year.
Maybe those who stand firm will be the winners when shoppers come out in force over the next two weekends, or maybe they will be left disappointed when people forsake the high street to get on the road to see loved ones on the crucial last weekend before Christmas.
But at the moment, as retailers across the sector try every trick in the book to get punters through the door, maybe even Mr Rose might be thinking twice.
What do you think? Are you committed to a post-Christmas Sale? Is a Sale-free Christmas a thing of the past?