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More than 70% of retailers expect a better Christmas than last year

Nearly three quarters of retailers said they are feeling more confident about Christmas trading this year compared to last.

Last year only 52% said they were feeling optimistic about the trading period ahead, according to a Barclays survey of multichannel retailers.

“2014 has been a good year for many retailers thanks to heightened consumer confidence and this is clearly reflected in their brighter outlook for the Christmas season,” said Richard Lowe, head of retail and wholesale at Barclays.

According to the report, 35% of retailers said tablets would be their main sales channel from a growth perspective, ahead of smartphones and stores (both at 19%). While in its infancy, retailers believe that shopping for gifts via social networking sites could increase by over a fifth (21%) compared to 2013.

More than half (65%) of retailers said they were planning Black Friday promotions on November 28 and 69% said they expect the popularity of these promotions to continue to gain traction in the UK.

Nearly all (96%) said they expect traffic to increase on Mega Monday, which is traditionally the busiest online shopping day and falls on December 1 this year.

Lowe said: “The UK hasn’t seen Black Friday and Mega Monday fall on the same weekend since 2008 so retailers will be pulling out all the stops to make it a great shopping experience with some dazzling offers. However, some consumers will opt to leave their Christmas shopping later than this, thanks to improved delivery and click-and-collect options.”

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