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Christmas fashion spend to drop, PwC predicts

The average consumer will spend £420 on presents this year, but a smaller proportion will be on fashion, PwC’s Christmas trading predictions suggest.

Spend on children’s clothing will remain a key category for spend, but adult clothing sales are expected to be low as a result of shoppers purchasing during Black Friday Sales instead.

“Overall, spending levels will be similar to last year, but what people spend their money on may be different,” Lisa Hooker, consumer markets leader at PwC, said. “Shoppers told us they would be spending more on food and drink, Christmas dinner, and children’s clothing. The main categories where shoppers will spend less on presents include adult clothing and electricals and technology, which were the two most popular categories of spending in the Black Friday Sales.”

A total of 20% of consumers said they did most of their Christmas shopping over Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but the period from now until mid-December is thought to be the busiest. Just 6% of respondents said they would wait until the week before Christmas to start their shopping.

Click and collect is expected to grow at twice the rate of normal deliveries this season, boosting traffic to stores.

Kien Tan, retail strategy director at PwC, said: “With Christmas Day falling on a Tuesday this year, we believe that retailers may have a bumper shopping weekend as consumers will have a full weekend to make last-minute purchases. We could even see an increase in high street footfall that weekend, which makes a change to the last few Christmases.

“Right now, click and collect accounts for one-sixth of the overall online delivery market. But whether its increased popularity will be enough to reverse the decline in the high street footfall remains to be seen.”

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