Retailers look set to avoid last year’s pitfall of excessive discounting in the run-up to Christmas, according to accountant BDO.
Don Williams, national head of retail and wholesale at BDO, said: “Better buying and supply chain control from retailers this Christmas means many are in a far stronger position to retain margin and footfall without needing to slash prices too early in the festive season.
“We are also seeing savvy retailers bring in specially bought lines intended for discount to entice shoppers through the door.”
Williams said many retailers stopped seasonal sales in mid-October to give themselves a clear run at Christmas.
“This is far earlier than last year, and it is encouraging to see so many seem to have learnt from past mistakes,” he added. “However, with Blockbuster re-entering administration, retailers will need no reminder that in today’s market they must innovate or die.”
BDO’s latest high street sales tracker shows that like-for-like sales slipped 0.4 per cent in October.
However, it said shops could take heart from an uplift in non-fashion sales as early signs of gift-buying appear.