The year may have had plenty of setbacks for businesses across the UK, especially those involved in retail, but the Christmas period is making some of them start feeling hopeful about the final quarter of 2012.
Many people have been holding off on their Christmas-present buying in order to snatch the best deals, but now, with just a week to go until the big day, consumers are opening their wallets and purses. There has been a rush of spending in the last two weekends, with more and more shoppers hitting the streets to grab the best gifts.
There are still concerns for retailers, including the lack of money that is facing some people, pushing them into taking out short-term loans or applying for more credit in order to fund the holiday splurge. Richard Dodds, from the British Retail Consortium, demonstrated that retailers are aware of these issues: “Some people have held off from spending because of being short of money, or unsure what their circumstances will be in terms of jobs. Yet must-have technology toys and items have been doing well from early on.”
One of the biggest shopping destinations in the UK, London’s West End, has reported revenue increasing each weekend so far and are looking forward to this final weekend providing a bumper crop of buyers. However, this isn’t just from UK spenders; the New West End Company, which represents stores in the district, have pointed out that tourists have helped prop up the levels of spending that the domestic market has failed to fill: “In the West End these great sales are from a combination of tourists coming to the UK to shop and shoppers coming from all over the UK to visit London to get their Christmas presents We have some of the best Christmas lights and theatres in the world here and people come down to see a play and hit the shops, and tourists tend to have a higher spend.”