Baking gifts ‘will be big on Christmas wish lists’

Baking-relating gifts will be appearing on many consumers’ wish lists this Christmas, thanks to the Great British Bake Off effect.

Baking gifts 'will be big on Christmas wish lists'

That is one of the conclusions of a new report published this week by SAS UK and Verdict, called How Britain will shop for Christmas. It believes Britons will spend £86bn on Christmas this year, up from last year, despite their having less disposable income.

Retail spending over the festive season is expected to rise by 1% over 2011, driven by food sales. But the report says major gift sectors such as homewares, clothing and footwear and health and beauty will also grow.

As in previous years, gifting will be a real contributor to volume growth in homewares, but it will not be driven purely by gifting, as price competition generated by value players such as Dunelm Mill, The Range and the grocers, will drive inflation down in the quarter.

This will make it far easier for homewares shoppers to make impulse purchases, rather than deferring as they have done over the past five years, the report says.

One area that could see a rise in sales is craft products. One fifth of shoppers in the How Britain Shops for Christmas survey said they bought craft gifts last year, and the success of this year’s cookery programmes, most recently The Great British Bake Off, is likely to boost baking-related gifts.

Online sales are set to account for 10.6% of the total retail spend in 2012 and, says Cindy Etsell, head of retail, SAS UK & Ireland: “Click and collect and M-commerce will be particularly attractive for the time-pressed over Christmas. And, while spend is up, volume is down and so discounting is expected to be a big part of retailers’ strategies. The combination of multi-channel shopping and heavy discounting will increase competitive pressure.”

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