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The Christmas Crunch: How Will Your Retail Sector Fare This Year?

Over the past few months, UK High Street stores received their yearly pre-Christmas boost. Sales are predicted to continue to improve during the festive period, with the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) forecasting growth this month driven by last-minute Christmas shopping.

That has excited retailers this festive season, with sales nudging above the average for this time of year. Official retail sales figures from the Office for National Statistics have also painted a positive picture of consumer spending, with rising living standards suggesting consumers will be prepared to loosen their purse strings over the Christmas period.

If you are in the retail business, it is important to know whether or not your sector is predicted to do well this year. Read on to learn how you may fare in 2019.
 

Where Will Customers Do Their Christmas Shopping This Year?

Figures from the CBI survey covering late October and the first half of November show that sales have generally been strong in supermarkets and footwear outlets, but poor in clothes shops and department stores.

Based on last year’s figures, these are some of the brands that are predicted to do well during Christmas 2019.
 

The Christmas winners

Aldi/Lidl

The German grocers secured their biggest ever slice of the Christmas food spend in 2018, and they’re expected to increase their market share again this year. The growing popularity of their discount offer proves price is still king for many consumers.

JD Sports


Booming sales of ‘athleisure-wear’ in the UK is expected to bring yet another bumper year of Christmas sales for the Manchester-based JD Sports. The decision not to follow rivals and allow big price cuts has also keep profit margins high. As an Eagle Eye client, its commitment to consistent customer engagement – online, instore and via its mobile app – has enabled it to foster a loyal following.

Greggs


The UK’s largest bakery chain is expected to have another strong finish in 2019, thanks to its festive bakes, mince pies, hot drinks, breakfast foods and vegan sausage rolls. As another Eagle Eye client, Greggs enhances customer engagement through its mobile app, which also helps speeds service instore.

In short, businesses in the supermarket/grocery, sports and quick service restaurant sectors who can demonstrate value and speed and provide online-offline consistency will likely be pleased with how much they rake in this year.

The Christmas hopefuls 

Marks & Spencer

After a disappointing Christmas last year, Marks & Spencer is hoping that its popular M&S Simply Food range and new home and clothing sections can transform the store’s fortune this year. All eyes will be on its move into online grocery with Ocado in 2020.

John Lewis

John Lewis was another big name that struggled to grab the attention of Christmas shoppers last year. However, this year’s Black Friday sales helped the department store ring up its best-ever week of sales with a 9.5% rise over 10 days. A 43% rise in sales via its mobile app may also help to reverse its fortunes in 2019.

ASOS

After a poor 2018, the online clothing retailer hopes that a bumper Christmas shopping season this year will help it get back on track. However, a profits warning issued after poor trading in November shows that online retailers are not immune to High Street struggles. It will be interesting to see if its move to ditch its loyalty scheme in favour of a subscription-based delivery service earlier this year will help boost customer retention into the New Year.

If your business is an online clothing retailer or a department store, you may not be looking at the highest sales this Christmas. But many are also looking to grow their online channels to help drive both loyalty and omnichannel engagement.

Get More Sales This Christmas

It doesn’t matter if business is booming or you’re in a bit of a lull – gaining more sales is never a bad thing. Eagle Eye can help you with this. Use our AIR platform to target customers with tailored offers across your digital channels, while monitoring their performance in real-time. Eagle Eye rewards allow you to create and manage omnichannel loyalty schemes that will engage customers and increase sales during the busy Christmas shopping period.

Whether your business is expecting above or below average sales this holiday season you can improve your position with seasonal advertising and offers. Check out Eagle Eye and see how we can help your sales soar - think of it as our Christmas wish to you!