Retailers face Boxing Day lossesMonday, 20 December 2010
Of the businesses polled by retail marketing firm more2, one in ten reported that takings will be down by almost a third (30 per cent), a significant figure considering the backdrop of an already challenging trading environment.
Despite the Government’s refusal in July to relax Sunday trading hours on Boxing Day this year, and the added complication of planned tube strikes in London, 57 per cent of UK retailers will be opening stores on the 26th. However, many say their sales figures will be severely impacted, with one in twenty saying they will lose over half of their takings due to reduced trading time. 52 per cent of those polled say they are unsure if they’ll be able to make up the Boxing Day deficit during the rest of the January sales period.
Yet many are planning innovative steps to combat the issue. Over a quarter (26 per cent) of retailers are planning to increase staff numbers on Boxing Day to reduce queues in-store to maximise the ability to trade during these reduced opening hours, and one in ten will be actively encouraging customers to shop through other channels such as online. Forty per cent of retailers collect information from shoppers in-store so they can contact them with offers and tell them about how to shop online or through other channels.
Kevin McSpadden, founder of more2, which conducted the study with Onepoll, said that these findings pointed towards a shift in tactics for retailers:
“Although it’s clear from this study that retailers are expecting to suffer as a result of the decision not to extend shopping hours on Boxing Day, it’s encouraging that many are already looking at other ways to engage with their customers.
“Retailers who collect customer information in store and use this to intelligently provide consumers with a diverse range of options as to how they buy products - whether that’s online, in store or via their mobile - will be in a much better position moving into 2011.”
Image: Boxing Day