Shoppers immune to Boxing Day sales fever

Traditional Boxing Day sales will suffer owing to spending on Black Friday and the squeeze on incomes, a survey suggests.

The majority of shoppers (56%) who took part in the survey for BBC Radio 4 think Boxing Day sales have lost their appeal.

Only a handful said they planned to get up early for a sales bargain.

Some 37% of people surveyed expect to spend less this Boxing Day owing to spending on Black Friday.

The survey of 1,000 shoppers was carried out for Radio 4's You and Yours by consumer analysts, Savvy Marketing. It found four out of 10 of people made a purchase during the Black Friday sales this year compared with three out of 10 in 2016.

Satwinder and Jyoti Matoo from Leeds go shopping together every weekend. They told You and Yours they would not be getting up early to go shopping this time.

"The sales are on every day now. You can buy sale stuff whenever you like. I have queued up before on Boxing Day and I've got some bargains, but this year I'm going to stay in bed," said Satwinder.

Catherine Shuttleworth, from Savvy Marketing, said: "The data shows that people spent more money this Black Friday than last year and people can't spend that money twice, so the Boxing Day sales will suffer.

"Shoppers expect things to be discounted because times are tough and family spending isn't as flexible as it has been."

'Like a drug'

Festive cheer has been in short supply for retailers this season. Consumer spending has fallen for the third month in a row, according to analysis from Visa. The credit card company predicts the UK will see its first fall in overall Christmas spending by consumers since 2012.

Ms Shuttleworth said retailers needed to get as many people into their shops as possible. "If there aren't any deals, shoppers will go elsewhere, so sales are like a drug which retailers can't get off," she said.

Despite this apparent addiction to discounting, 62% of people surveyed thought that constant sales devalued the brand of a shop.

Online retailer Jenny Parker sells 180 different brands through her website. She agreed that year-round sales were detrimental.

"If you look at the brands which are doing well, they don't have blanket discounts. They are strategic about their pricing and when they go into sale," she said.

The British Retail Consortium said other factors such as the weather, the timing of Christmas Day or the health of consumers' incomes could affect how much was spent during post-Christmas sales. Many more people were shopping online, it added.

Rachel Lund, head of retail insight and analytics at the British Retail Consortium, said: "Our data shows that sales of non-food products in the two weeks after Christmas are typically 20% to 30% lower than the average in the weeks leading up to Christmas."

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