Early January has traditionally been heralded as the time of till ringing, card tapping, bargain brimming, sales. However, with the ever increasing pre-Christmas sales and focus on Black Friday, could January no longer be the shopping period it once was? ICM’s recent poll for Retail Week suggests that whilst the retail industry may be transforming, consumers appetites for a post-Christmas bargains are not.
Last year ICM’s poll showed a third (33%) of consumers believe that the best deals are available in January, and yet despite an increase in pre-Christmas sales and a greater emphasis on Back Friday, that figure has remained unaltered this year (32%), suggesting that the appetite for January sales is not diminishing! And it is younger consumers that believe it is January when the best bargains are to be grabbed, with 45% of 18-34 year olds compared to 22% of those ages over 55.
For many of us, Christmas day is about family, food and charades, but for 1 in 10 of those who intend to shop in the sales, it’s about beating the crowds before Christmas day is through! And by 9am Boxing Day, 1 in 6 consumers will have already started their January shopping. And, for many festive shoppers, a bargain can be sort without bracing the cold and leaving that selection box of chocs, with 47% starting their January sales shopping online.
But how much did our eager January bargain hunters intend to spend? ICM found that 1 in 6 consumers planned to spend more this January than they did last year, a figure that has been consistently rising since 2013. Age is a key determinant for increased spending with those under 35 much more likely to say they will spend more of their cash.
So despite increasing opportunities for consumers to pick up a bargain pre-Christmas or on Black Friday, consumers continue to seek the retail reductions in January with as much gusto as ever!