Easter is fast approaching, making this the perfect time for retailers to take a moment to consider if they are suitably prepared for this key shopping period.
New research commissioned by Webloyalty has suggested the retail market over this holiday will demonstrate growth of 3.2 per cent when compared to 2013. This news may come as a surprise to many, as a number of analysts have presented a downbeat view of consumer confidence and personal finances in the UK.
The strongest increases are set to be recorded in food and drink, with total transactions expected to reach £2.1 billion, which would be a 4.5 per cent gain year-on-year. A high inflation level across the sector is one of the key factors highlighted by the research, while demand for fresh produce is also projected to be greater than previously witnessed.
Conducted by Conlumino, the study also found the non-food market – which includes household items and clothing – is expected to grow by 2.3 per cent, taking the total to £1.5 billion.
A slower pace of expansion is anticipated in terms of Easter gifts, as this sector is only set to grow by 1.4 per cent. This is weaker than food, drink, DIY and fashion, and sales of Easter eggs are likely to be the driving force in this category.
Neil Saunders, Managing Director of Conlumino, said, “A sunny spell over Easter would be particularly welcome for food and grocery retailers, as Britons bring out the barbecues, and for the fashion market, as people look for seasonal ranges of clothing.”
Analysis of the data provided as a result of the study reveals there is an underlying confidence among consumers. The general economic sentiment – a key indicator of future retail market strength – soared by 52.1 percentage points over the course of the year to January 2014. This index now stands at plus 7.1, from minus 45 in the previous 12 months. What a difference a year makes!