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Christmas shopping ‘will pick up’

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05/12/2006

After a quiet start to the Christmas shopping season the British Retail Consortium (BRC) is predicting that things will pick up in the last 10-14 days before the holiday.

“Clothing retailers have been stuck with a lot of winter stock because the weather has been so mild this year,” said BRC director general Kevin Hawkins.

“This has led to a lot of deep price discounts, and they are certainly more marked than than at this time last year.”

To try to stimulate demand many retailers have launched a series of sales and special offers. This effort comes as latest figures show that retail sales are down on last year and is especially important for many retailers as Christmas trading can account for up to 60% of their turnover.

“I think there are plenty of incentives for consumers to come out and spend money,” Hawkins added. The issue is whether or not they will come out, in what numbers and and how near Christmas. My guess is that it will be focused on the last two weeks to 10 days.”

Hawkins also points out that online retailers are likely to do well this Christmas, with many discount vouchers being distributed over the Internet.

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