For many retailers, the Christmas trading period is the most crucial time of the year.
Planning is well under way, the stock has arrived and now it’s a waiting game to find out when and with what vigour consumers will commence their Christmas shop.
Retailers have been rightly cautious over the past two years and there is no reason for this attitude to change.
However, recent trading has improved as the weather has started to match the product for a change. This could build momentum and a bit of confidence within the sector.
Key to success will be engaging with customers to ensure items on display meet their requirements, creating attractive store layouts, cleaner stock and upselling.
The consumer has got used to longer and deeper Sale periods but the Sales this autumn have been targeted across certain items.
Some stock lines have run out so shoppers are enticed to buy at full price, rather than wait and be disappointed.
Retailers have worked hard to refine their offers and improve their sales channels and deserve to see a better Christmas this year. We don’t believe we’ll see a pre-Lehman style Christmas but we could see an improvement on last year.
- Charles Lamplugh, Lead relationship director, retail sector, Lloyds Wholesale Banking & Markets