As homeowners seek to refresh their homes in time for Christmas, retailers operating in the home category are expected to see growth of 0.6% in sales during the last quarter.
Global Data forecasts that total UK retail sales in Q4 will rise by 2% to £98.8billion for the three months to the end of 2018. Whilst food & grocery is expected to drive this, non-food spend is forecast to grow at 1.6%.
The home category, which includes furniture and floorcoverings, homewares, and DIY and gardening, is forecast to grow 0.6% in the final quarter of 2018 compared with the previous year. Much of this growth will come from homewares, which is expected to see a year-on-year uplift of 1.4%. Homewares has been more resilient in 2018 than other home categories, as consumers have sought to refresh their homes, and interest in interior design has grown through social media and fashion retailers’ own home collections. Global Data believes the effects of the latter should be particularly notable over the seasonal period.
Global Data says of its predictions: “While it has been a year of retail failures, profit warnings and store closures so far, the ‘golden quarter’ offers retailers the opportunity to gain sales from consumers who are finally ready to prioritise shopping. But low consumer confidence and confusion over Brexit will inhibit big-ticket spend, and trading down to value retailers is becoming more widespread, due to the rapid store expansion of players such as B&M and Home Bargains.”
Meanwhile, capping off a strong year for the UK online market in which multichannel retailers have consistently reported robust digital growth, Christmas is set to be “the icing on the cake, with more consumers than ever choosing to buy online for the festive period”, says Global Data.
Online pureplays will prove popular again this year and Amazon is expected to remain a top choice for gift purchases, due to the appeal of its broad product range appeals, and as Amazon Prime subscribers turn to the retailer as their first port of call.
Online spend will be bolstered this Christmas by Instagram’s shopping function, which launched this year, as well as Pinterest featuring direct links to retailers’ product pages. The ease of purchase through social media will drive impulse purchases of partywear, as well as gifts across sectors.