Retail analysts and experts have proclaimed their predictions for this Christmas but the expected figure is inconclusive.
Research firm Verdict predict that consumer spending will hit £88bn and be the highest since the recession began and at least £2bn more than last Christmas.
They say a baby boom, increased job creation which is outstripping cuts and new housing market initiatives will encourage buying.
Verdict also forecast non-food sectors to recover, including some growth in the home related sectors of homewares, furniture, DIY and gardening after years of declines.
Maureen Hinton, research director at Verdict commented: “Though consumers will still be looking for value and discounting will continue to be rife in non-food sectors, there will be an increase in volumes this year, which will boost their total sales by £600m.”
Lucrative shopping days such as ‘Cyber Monday’ on 2nd December and ‘Mad Monday’ on 23 December, which is expected to be dominated by last minute online deliveries, will be key for retailers aiming to cash in on the Christmas market.
Last year Cyber Monday generated 112 million UK internet visits, making it the second biggest online shopping day in British history. The race for e-commerce market share is expected to take centre stage as retailers beef up their multi-channel offerings.
But the UK’s third largest e-commerce marketplace Play.com, say British shoppers are planning a cost conscious Christmas with the average shopper predicted to spend around £298 – about half of last years YouGov prediction.
Play.com say the total spend will be just £22bn.
Women are expected to be most price sensitive, with over a quarter (27 per cent) seeking to spend less this Christmas than last year, compared to a fifth of men (20 per cent).
Rakuten’s Play.com MD, Shingo Murakami commented: “Around one in four shoppers said getting a good deal was very important to them at Christmas. However it’s important for retailers to remember a good deal is about more than a low price.”