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Promotions at 75% of stores

More shops launch sales ahead of Xmas

SalesThree in every four retailers have a sale or promotion under way to attract shoppers looking for Christmas bargains.

The number is slightly up on last year – 75% against 72% – and shows that the pre-Christmas sale is now a fixture in the retail calendar.

PwC found that compared to this time last week, advertised promotions are up 9% and average price discounts are up 6%.

Martin Cowie, private business leader, PwC in Scotland, believes that some high street retailers are still holding their nerve and will be looking to pick up on a big final weekend.

“Things may have levelled off a little since the recent frenzied Black Friday weekend, however, as we all get ready for that frantic last weekend of shopping before Christmas day, promotional intensity is heating up again,” he said.

“Some of the sales uplift seen by retailers that weekend will have been the result of customers bringing forward planned spending to take advantage of special offers, which might explain the relative weakness in performance in recent weeks.  As a result of this, we’re now seeing an increased level of discounting as retailers try to re-stimulate demand.

“In the last couple of weeks, we’ve also seen online distribution systems stretched to their limits by the growth in online sales, resulting in growing customer anxiety over whether goods will arrive in time for the big day. This may well play into the hands of the high street and we expect to see a return to shopping in stores, particularly as it gets closer to Christmas and online shopping activity is no longer a threat.”

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