Shoppers enjoy record pre-Christmas discounts for sixth year in a row - analysts

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Consumers are enjoying record pre-Christmas discounts for the sixth year in a row driven by unsold winter stock and the expectation of bargains, figures show.

Last-minute shoppers out on Christmas Eve, which falls on a Saturday this year, could benefit from price cuts averaging 54%, Deloitte said.

Discounts currently average 43.3%,1.5% deeper than last year, analysis of more than 300,000 products currently on sale in the UK found.

Deloitte said the discounts would continue to grow in number and size, with average savings of more than 54% anticipated after Christmas.

The lack of a prolonged cold snap meant shoppers were likely to see heavy price cutting on winter clothes.

Jason Gordon, consumer business partner at Deloitte, said: “This is the sixth year in a row that we have seen ever increasing discounts.

“Such a long precedent has led to consumers becoming conditioned to expect substantial discounts in the run up to Christmas.

“This long-term trend, combined with the current consumer-friendly economic conditions of low inflation, high employment and high disposable income, will provide retailers with the perfect opportunity to offer deep discounts in order to shift unwanted stock.”

He added: “The fact that we have seen such deep discounts so early is an indication of the level of nervousness from the high street.

“Economic uncertainty in 2017, particularly around how increasing inflation will affect consumer confidence and spending, has encouraged retailers to err on the side of caution.

“Deep discounts, calculated using increasingly sophisticated analytical tools, will help retailers shift stock and remain competitive before the uncertainties that lie ahead.”

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