According to research from Barclaycard, which processes nearly half of all debit and credit card transactions in the UK, high-street sales are set to slump as consumers kick-off their dash for discounts from the sofa.
Of those who plan to shop in this year’s sales, one in seven (15 per cent) are even planning to set aside the festivities as they hit the online sales on Christmas Day.
Of those shopping on the 25th, a third (32 per cent) are motivated by the fear of missing out on the best bargains, and one in five (18 per cent) say it is simply that they will be bored and will want something to do. Others (15 per cent), expect to be disappointed with the Christmas presents they receive and will want to buy replacement items for themselves.
Meanwhile, Boxing Day still remains the most popular day for December sales shoppers with a third (32 per cent) planning to make the most of the early discounts, but many consumers plan to log on to secure the best bargains.
Just one in twelve (8 per cent) plans to maintain the tradition of getting up early and queuing for the sales to start on Boxing Day this year. This continues a trend on last year that saw a greater focus on online sales. In 2014, spending on Boxing Day was up just 1.2 per cent in-store, but grew 13.8 per cent online.
This year, one in seven (14 per cent) say they will do a higher proportion of their post-Christmas sales shopping online compared to last year, with just half that number (7 per cent) planning to do a higher proportion of their shopping in-store.
In particular, department stores have seen dramatic increases in online spending on Boxing Day. In 2014 the category increased more than any other on Boxing Day, with the amount spent rising 12.1 per cent on the previous year.
As for all sales – both online and in-store – one in ten people (10 per cent) say they will spend more in the sales this year, whilst a similar number (12 per cent) anticipate that they will spend less, possibly down to the fact that pre-Christmas sales events like Black Friday are proving increasingly popular.
Of those planning to spend more in the post-Christmas, just under a third (31 per cent) say it’s because they are in a better financial position and able to spend a bit more treating family and friends. Just under a quarter say that they feel more confident about their current and future financial outlook compared to last year. A fifth (20 per cent) are looking to buy more expensive items this year such as white goods, electronics and jewellery.
Paul Lockstone, Managing Director, at Barclaycard, said:
“Online sales shopping has boomed in recent years as consumers log on from home to avoid high-street queues and secure the best bargains. Whilst the traditional Boxing Day sales remain the most popular day for us to splash our Christmas cash, an increasing number of us are starting our shopping even earlier as we worry about missing out on the best bargains.
“This Christmas season, limited Sunday trading hours over the Boxing Day weekend will benefit online retailers, and with consumers remaining savvy with what they spend, a further shift from in-store spending to online - where consumers have more choice and find it easier to compare prices - could well be expected.”