Lisa Hooker, consumer markets lead at PwC, said;
“After the disruption of last year, consumers want to make this festive season extra special and so have planned ahead. The first two weeks of December are the busiest for Christmas shopping but more than half of consumers bought most of their presents by the end of November.
“With more people potentially working from home, the loss of footfall for city centre retailers should have limited impact on overall festive retail spending, with many already having their gifts bought and wrapped. This may even benefit independent retailers on local high streets if people do their last minute shopping closer to their homes.
“Online shopping is a big winner this year, with over two thirds, 67%, of Christmas spend online. Consumers have been savvy and shopped online early to allow for stock shortages and longer delivery times.
David Trunkfield, hospitality and leisure leader at PwC, said;
“We do expect that the Plan B changes will have a knock on impact on hospitality. With fewer people in the office, impromptu Christmas get-togethers will tail off.
“Although in the short term pubs and restaurants may lose custom, there are no real restrictions on how they operate, unlike in last year’s lockdowns and tier system. It is hoped that by implementing Plan B quickly, venues can look forward to normality in the new year, as more people receive their booster vaccinations.
“We expect to see a negative impact on outbound travel as we enter the peak booking season in January, as previous research shows that testing requirements, risk of quarantine and uncertainty are all significant barriers to consumers booking and travelling abroad. The reimposition of these barriers will come as a major blow for the industry following positive booking trends in October and November”
Manager, media relations, PwC United Kingdom
Tel: +44(0)7803 455 542