This week, PwC found that almost two-thirds (64%) of 100 high street retailers were holding sales or advertising promotions in their shop window, such as 3 for 2. This is up two percentage points from last week, and down slightly from this time last year (66%). It's the same level as seen in 2013 and below the 69% high from 2012. Average price discounts being advertised this week were 35% compared to 39% last year and 42% in 2013.
Mark Hudson, retail partner, PwC, said:
"Benign market conditions and fading memories of past Autumn economic shocks mean we're now into the fourth year of consistent behaviour by the retailers on the high street - certain retailers promote heavily and go early, others never do. Those that don't are often vocal about it and hold their nerve right up to Christmas. So customers are well informed and can play a longer game - especially with Christmas Day being at the end of the week this year.
"A decent cold snap and the chance of snow between now and the big day could get the sales of boots and outerwear moving and accelerate the gift buying activity. However, if the mild weather persists and some retailers start to suffer in the next two weeks then expect the unexpected - both in-store and online - as someone usually breaks ranks and ups the ante to spark a trading war. Then the real fight for the critical last 10 days of Christmas spending will really start.”