Retailers less desperate than this time last year - levels of discounting lower than in 2008.
According to analysis carried out this week by PwC, under half (43%) of high street retailers are currently advertising discounts or offering promotions such as 3 for 2 or bogofs. This compares to nearly two-thirds (62%) of retailers in the same week last year. Average discounts being offered this week are also lower at 25% off, compared to 40% off this time last year when the grip of the international credit crunch was at its tightest, and discounting was hotting up as Christmas drew nearer and retailers were desperate to get shoppers in the door and offload stock. This store based research does however exclude the significant online marketing activity which is running in parallel and appears to be more pervasive than last year.
Andy Garbutt retail and leisure director at PwC said: "It is encouraging to see that retailers appear to have more tightly managed stock levels and are therefore better prepared for Christmas this year, reducing the need to chase footfall and sales as aggressively as last year. I think this is also an indication of improving consumer confidence, with shoppers happy to spend money on presents or on themselves if they see a compelling reason to do so."The jury is still out on whether discounting will remain below 2008 levels as we get nearer to Christmas. Retailers are closely monitoring their daily and weekly sales figures. It all depends on how actual sales compare to budgets over the next few weeks, and we may see discounting levels creep up again."
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