Consumers are set to shop from home but spend more in the post-Christmas sales than in previous years in a reassuring sign for online retailers, a survey suggests.
Bargain-hunters plan to spend an average of £247 each in the end-of-year sales, an increase of £85 on last year and £61 more than 2019, according to Barclaycard Payments, which processes nearly £1 in every £3 spent on credit and debit cards in the UK.
However almost half (47%) of those polled believe inflation may affect how much they buy overall, with 49% of these shoppers intending to spend less than they usually would.
While Boxing Day remains the most popular day to start sales shopping, with almost four in 10 (37%) planning to buy on this day, 30% plan to start browsing the sales on Christmas Eve and 27% said they will shop on Christmas Day.
Almost half (45%) of those questioned say they will shop less frequently in stores over the sales period and four in 10 say they will shop online in an effort to avoid queues and crowds.
However, Covid-19 concerns are not the only reason for Britons favouring online shopping.
A third (34%) say they prefer online shopping in general, 32% say it is more efficient and allows them to spend time with family and friends during the holidays, and 27% do not want to brave the unpredictable British weather.
Some 22% are looking to support smaller businesses and those closer to home in the sales.
Barclaycard Payments head of online payments Harshna Cayley said: “The rise in spending when compared to the last two years is a reassuring sign for retailers, showing that, despite inflation increasing and worries about the new Covid-19 variant, consumers are keen to continue the tradition of sales shopping, even when some of the larger retailers are closing their physical stores on Boxing Day itself.
“Yet, we are also becoming more conscious about the purchases we make. With environmental concerns and the cost of everyday living front of mind, many Brits are seeking sustainable goods and services but also financially planning for the year ahead by taking advantage of deals to buy items for celebrations in the 2022.”
– OnePoll surveyed 2,000 UK adults between December 3 and 7.