Cash-strapped stores have continued their Black Friday sales through the Christmas period over fears Brexit could have an impact on the retail market.
|KATE BUCK, METRO|AIWA! NO!|Some shops have made reductions of up to 80% to ensure shoppers go through their doors and spend their hard-earned money. Price tracking of more than 800,000 products have shown the average discount of sale items is around 44%.
Retail analysts also expect there to be a 4% fall in the number of shoppers compared to last year. Diane Wehrle, from retail experts Springboard, said: ‘There has been more discounting this year by retailers, Black Friday was not a success and there is low consumer confidence because of the maelstrom of Brexit.’
She added that the average discount amount will come to around 52% from Boxing Day. Expert Richard Hyman told the Daily Mail: ‘We don’t want to blame Brexit for too much. But the inescapable truth is that it is definitely having an impact. ‘Christmas 2018 will come very late, and fail to deliver the respite many in the industry need. Most retailers will enter 2019 with less fat than needed to see them through the weakest trading period of the year. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.’
Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley, who this year bought House of Fraser out of administration, has taken the decision to close a number of the stores and has warned that Debenhams will not be able to survive without an injection of cash. Bon Marche issued a profits warning this week, and Primark has warned of tough trading conditions.
Household names such as Next, Laura Ashley, Hobbs, and Argos are currently all promoting clearance stock and winter sales in the run up to the festive season.