Retailers are reaping the rewards of stocking up early this Christmas as savvy shoppers snap up festive bargains weeks before the main event.
According to HIM Shop Waves data, shoppers had bought almost 9% of their Christmas food and more than 16% of their Christmas drinks by mid-November.
Oxfordshire Londis retailer Sunder Sandher ordered all of his Christmas stock two months after Easter on pre-order and has had everything on display since the third week in September.
“I thought that might have been too early, but it’s done really well and we’ve already sold three-quarters of what we ordered,” he told C-Store. “If I’d left it later, it wouldn’t have been possible to get certain products, such as Lindt HODs. You can get boxes of product later without the display unit, but the prices aren’t as good.”
In Claygate, Surrey, Londis retailer Hiral Patel was also enjoying sparking sales. “I’m happy to say that early festive sales have been really good. We’ve been much more targeted with our ordering this year. I’ve cut back on items such as decorations and wrapping paper, and bought more festive confectionery, which I started to display back in early November. I’ve also been running some good promotions on alcoholic drinks which people have been snapping up early. It seems as though shoppers have been just as keen to manage costs and buy early as we shopkeepers have.”
Guy Warner’s Broadway Budgens Store has been benefiting from impulse purchases of mince pies, chestnuts and goose fat thanks to a vast attention-grabbing display created by store staff.
The HIM data also revealed that the majority of shoppers expected to do their last big grocery shop five days before Christmas Day - meaning that Sunday, December 23 is likely to be a busy one for small stores as shoppers top-up ahead of the main event.