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Boxing Day Sales Forecast To Plummet As Shoppers Remain Cautious

Sale signs - Shutterstock_371945593 - 725 x 500 (2)
  • Total sales on 26 December to drop 10% compared to 2019 and down 1% on 2020
  • Shoppers remain reluctant to hit the High Street, with sales to drop 23% versus 2019
  • A total of £13.9bn to be spent between 25-31 December – down 9% on 2019

Boxing Day sales are forecast to fall on 26th December, with a 10% slump compared to 2019 and a dip of 1% on last year, according to a new report. 

The VoucherCodes.co.uk Shopping for Christmas 2021 forecasts that Boxing Day sales will drop to £3.94bn compared to 2019 figures (£4.39bn) and down from £3.97bn in 2020. 

Retailers are set to be hit hard with sales down for the fourth consecutive year despite fewer restrictions being in place compared with 2020. As shoppers remain cautious in light of increased cases of COVID-19, High Street spend on 26 December is set to drop a huge 23% on 2019’s figures, from £3.25bn to £2.51bn. The YoY comparison shows an 11% uplift from £2.26bn in 2020, however as non-essential retail remained closed last year this is not the significant boost retailers were hoping for. 

Online spending is expected to hit £1.43bn this Boxing Day, a 25% rise compared with 2019 sales (£1.14bn), however this represents a 16% drop from last Christmas when online sales hit £1.71bn.  

2019-2021 Boxing Day sales and forecasts (£millions) 

2019

2020

2021

High Street

Online Sales

Total

High Street

Online Sales

Total

High Street

Online Sales

Total

 

£3,250

 

£1,139

£4,389

£2,260

£1,706

£3,966

£2,511

£1,428

£3,940

Many retailers begin their Christmas sales period on Christmas Day, hoping for a much-needed sales boost to round off the golden quarter. However, this year despite discounting, retailers are unlikely to see the results they’ve been hoping for as the report predicts that total spending between 25-31 December will reach £13.9bn. This compares with £15.2bn in 2019 (a 9% drop) and £13.8bn in 2020 – a marginal 1% uplift. 

High Street sales during the week are expected to fall to £7.19bn – slumping 19% compared to 2019 figures (£8.88bn). While there’s a 6% uplift on 2020’s High Street sales, retailers had been hoping for much bigger spending boosts as a result of non-essential retail stores being back open this Christmas following last year’s closures.  

Comparatively, online sales are set to drop YoY from £6.95bn in 2020 to £6.8bn this year as a result of stores remaining open. However, in more positive news for online retailers, online sales are predicted to outpace 2019’s pre-pandemic levels where they stood at £6.27bn, in a small glimmer of recovery for the industry.  

December 2021 sales estimates (£millions): 

Date 

Day 

High street 

Online 

Total 

25

Christmas Day

£0

£1,126

£1,126

26 

Boxing Day 

£2,511

£1,428

£3,940

27 

Monday

£1,737

£1,053

£2,790

28 

Tuesday 

£1,240

£900

£2,140

29 

Wednesday 

£800

£900

£1,700

30 

Thursday 

£502

£750

£1,252

31 

Friday 

£402

£640

£1,042

Totals 

 

£7,192

£6,797

£13,989

Angus Drummond, Senior Director, Commercial at VoucherCodes comments: “The Boxing Day sales period is notoriously one of the biggest and best-known discounting events in the British retail calendar, but sadly one that has been most badly hit by Covid.

“This year, during the lead up to Christmas we witnessed retailers battle with the Omicron variant as consumers pulled away from in-store spending in a bid to remain safe and protect their Christmases. At the same time, uncertainty around a potential post-Christmas lockdown has dominated the public conversation, with many consumers preparing for a post-Christmas period under much tighter restrictions. 

“Despite no such restrictions having been introduced, the report shows that uncertainties around lockdown and ongoing consumer anxieties around the virus will negatively impact the performance of Boxing Day sales, which are set to fall significantly behind those of 2019, before the pandemic began.  

“With news of a potential lockdown having been prominent for over two weeks, it’s likely that many consumers will have made an effort to purchase the things they wanted before Christmas rather than leaving it to chance in the Boxing Day sales. This, coupled with the fresh memory of last year’s Boxing Day tightening of restrictions means that we anticipate consumers will be making the most of not being in lockdown this week by spending extra time with family and friends, prioritising this over shopping, which will ultimately further negatively impact sales.”

Source : VoucherCodes.co.uk

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25 December 2021

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