As the weekends approaching Christmas passed by, there were constant cries from those watching high street revenue that shoppers were simply biding their time and the next weekend was sure to be the one where people finally stormed the shops and began to spend, spend, spend.
Now that Christmas Eve is upon us and the big day is tomorrow, it seems as if the big rush never materialised. Spending in the run up to Christmas didn’t reach the peaks that many retailers had hoped for, even though it has reached a level which is described as “acceptable”.
We won’t know for sure how much has actually been spent until well into January, but the early estimates aren’t great. It’s a difficult thing for retailers to face and will be hitting the optimistic attitudes that some had managed to hang onto.
The blame game has already begun, with retailers blaming the economic climate and the reluctance of consumers to spend the money that they don’t have. It’s not clear what consumers were supposed to have done, but depending on which group of retailers you ask, the answer can be as simple as taking out a short term loan. Others have no idea, appearing to assume that people are not buying their goods out of spite.
2013 does not look as if it will be any better either, with consumers having to tighten their belts in the first quarter to deal with the expenses that they have incurred in the run up to Christmas. Presents and food have still been bought, and that has eaten into plenty of people’s wage packets, so January will likely still see the normal curtailing of spending that the month sees. It’s going to be hard news for retailers to take though, and so the January sales may be even more prevalent than normal. In fact, they might even mix with some closing down sales.