British consumers fear ‘Christmas disappearing from high street’

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Almost a third (30%) of British consumers are worried about Christmas disappearing from the high street, and as a result just 7% will do all of their Christmas shopping online this year, new research has found.

The rise of online shopping has hit the high street hard over recent years, but research carried out by e-tailer Christmas Tree World has revealed that Christmas helps to drive more people to the shops – with 39% of Brits stating that shopping on the high street at Christmas is very much part of the festive experience.

36% say they like to see Christmas decorations and displays on the high street at Christmas, while a further one in three say they feel Christmas shopping would be less enjoyable if there were no Christmas decorations and displays to enjoy while shopping.

The study also quizzed respondents on the factors that would entice them from one high street to another during the festive period, and found that Christmas sales and discounts (40%), free parking (42%) and a good variety of shops (40%) would drive more footfall.

Having a Christmas market on-site would encourage 29% of consumers to choose one shopping centre or high street over another, while specialist Christmas departments and Christmas themed food and drink outlets would have the same effect for more than one in five (21%).

When asked what would encourage them to spend more while shopping on the high street during the festive period, more than a third (35%) claim they would dig a little deeper if there were early Christmas discounts and offers available to them.

Christmas Tree World managing director Stephen Evans commented: “It’s good news for retailers, shopping centres and even councils to see that consumers feel so strongly about the Christmas shopping experience and want to see visible signs of Christmas on the high street.

“Whether you enjoy Christmas shopping or not, it’s clear to see from the research that the majority of UK adults feel retailers should be embracing the festive season, and that Christmas should be visible wherever possible – whether that be through decorations, exclusive sales and offers, or small festive touches such as mince pies for shoppers.

“93% of those surveyed will do some element of their Christmas shopping in a physical store, so not only will embracing Christmas attract more consumers to one shopping destination over another, but as the data shows, it’s likely to encourage them to spend more while they are there.”

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