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Shoppers to splash out on Christmas food and drink despite Brexit uncertainty

Dec 20, 2018 | Retail

Kevin Whitlock

Consumers plan to spend more on food and drink this Christmas, according to a new trading analysis from consulting giant PwC.

The research shows that shoppers will spend less on presents this year, especially on adult clothing and electricals and technology, which were the two most popular categories of spending in the Black Friday sales.

Lisa Hooker, Consumer Markets Leader at PwC, said: “Overall spending levels will be similar to last year, but what people spend their money on may be different – it looks as though more money is being spent on the essentials – Christmas dinner, food and drink, and children’s clothing.

“Alongside one-off Christmas spending, there are a number of promising signs the doom and gloom for consumers is letting up. Absolute pay is growing faster than inflation and our consumer sentiment survey found that marginally more people think they will be better off in the coming year than worse off. It’s tentative, but promising.”

Sustainability has emerged as a key consumer trend of 2018 and set to play a key role this Christmas. PwC says if current trends are anything to go by, other single issue campaigns are likely to emerge in the coming months, for which retailers need to be prepared.

Hooker added: “We believe the rising importance of sustainability will affect both where consumers shop and how they buy. We have seen retailers who have been on the front foot on this see improvements in consumer awareness and favourability towards their brand.

“Secondly, there has been an increase in popularity of more sustainable buying choices, particularly amongst the young, with products from collectable toys to vegan leather and ethical beauty products that reflect the growing importance of the circular economy.”

Tags: Brexit, Retail

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