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Consumers expect pre-Christmas discounts

More than two-thirds of consumers expect discounting before Christmas, according to a study commissioned by private sales site, BrandAlley.

The study, carried out by independent research firm Framework this month, surveying a sample of 2,000 found that 70% of shoppers are expecting discounting before January sales.

Just one in eight consumers buy more often on the high street than they do online. Buying discounted clothes online is also preferable to buying discounted clothes in-store, with 84% saying they would rather not sift through sales racks.

The study also suggested that although total spending across retail has decreased, for 90% of consumers, only one in 25 has reduced their spending online since the economic downturn. Around 70% of respondents said they expected their online spending to increase.

The over-55s are the fastest-growing group purchasing clothing online. This group now makes up 35% of all online clothing sales, according to the study.

Almost half (40%) of BrandAlley’s member-customers are over 45, and the site is looking to increase its offering to this target audience.

BrandAlley chief executive Rob Feldmann explained that the research was a way of testing consumer propensity to purchase prior to Christmas.

“Consumers are really struggling with higher bills and we wanted to see if the down turn would impact their [Christmas] spend. We also wanted to know whether customers viewed a discounted model as if it’s there to stay and how they viewed shopping online for discount as opposed to online,” he said.

Feldmann added, “The good news is that customers still want to spend for Christmas. They’re careful about what they spend and sticking to their budgets. Other feedback is that customers are spreading bills out a bit more.”

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