Retailers and supermarkets are bracing for a bumper Christmas season in Britain as holiday spending ramps up and there is little prospect of a further drop in prices.
In a sign of the holiday rush ahead, the UK’s largest supermarket group, Sainsbury’s, said on Monday that it had seen an “extraordinary” rise in sales of its most popular brands, including Chelsea Market and Sprouts Market, over the past week.
“As Christmas approaches, we are seeing the return of a surge in sales in our supermarket brands,” said the group’s chief executive, James Stewart.
“We expect the holiday season to be exceptionally busy in terms of our supermarket businesses and we will be prepared to stock up as we always do.”
The impact of the festive period will depend on how long it lasts.
We are still expecting the UK economy to be weaker in the second half of the year and we are expecting a weaker UK in the coming months.
“Stocks on Sainsburys stock market website were down about 4 per cent in pre-market trading, compared to a gain of 3 per cent a year ago.
It was the biggest drop since April 2012, when Sainsworths saw a 10 per cent rise in premarket trading.”
There are also concerns that the fall in sterling over the last few weeks has pushed up prices in some of our most popular foodstuffs, such as sausages, beef and pork. “
This is not the first time the stock market has rallied this early, and investors should expect further rallies in the near future.”
There are also concerns that the fall in sterling over the last few weeks has pushed up prices in some of our most popular foodstuffs, such as sausages, beef and pork.
That could also make Christmas a very expensive one for shoppers.
It’s worth noting that most of our top-selling brands are already well stocked on the shelves of our retailers. “
The retail holiday is shaping up to be a very successful one for retailers, with a few notable exceptions,” it said.
“It’s worth noting that most of our top-selling brands are already well stocked on the shelves of our retailers.
It is unlikely that the UK will see a further fall in their sales during this period, given that most customers will be out shopping for the season.”
While the rise is good news for retailers and shoppers, it comes as many retailers have been slashing prices across their retail stores to avoid a drop in the pound and a loss of sales to the pound.
However, analysts warn that it could be too little too late for shoppers, given the steep rise in the price of most products since the Brexit vote in June 2016.
“Prices will have to rise significantly if they are to stay above their levels of the last three years,” said Oliver Williams, chief UK economist at IG Markets.
“If prices do not rise much, consumers will probably find it very difficult to find the bargains they want, given a lack of choice.”