Flurry of last-minute Christmas shoppers expected this weekend

Retailers should be prepared for an “influx” of last minute Christmas shoppers, an analyst has warned.

GlobalData Retail’s research revealed that this year more consumers are leaving their Christmas shopping to the last minute, helped by the fact that shoppers have a full weekend before the big day to grab some last-minute deals.

Gifts for adults has been one of the categories highly impacted, with completion levels tracking below previous years since the week commencing December 6.

Zoe Mills, retail analyst at GlobalData, said: “Consumers have held off spending on gifting for a number of reasons, most importantly because of retailers’ decision to heavily discount before Christmas. More retailers than ever chose to participate in Black Friday this year. Furthermore, Boxing Day sales have started earlier despite that this discounting will further erode profit margins and may encourage shoppers to wait even longer in the coming years as they expect prices to fall further closer to Christmas day and therefore will become reluctant to purchase gifts full price.”

Improved online delivery options offered by retailers has also impacted shoppers decisions to hold off on making a purchase early, and with food and drink purchases made predominantly offline, this, Ms Mills claimed, would be driving more shoppers to the high streets, with these retailers reaping the benefits of delayed spending.