Click and Collect key as consumer doom and gloom lets up, PwC

Click and Collect key as consumer doom and gloom lets up, PwC

UK shoppers are set to spend an average of £420 on Christmas presents this year, according to PwC research.

“2018 has been full of commentary about squeezed consumer spending and its contribution to the obvious distress on the UK High Street. The first half of the year in particular was very tough, with inflation rising about earnings,” says Lisa Hooker, Consumer Markets Leader at PwC.

“Overall, spending levels will be similar to last year, but what people spend their money on may be different - it looks as though more money is being spent on the essentials - Christmas dinner, food and drink, and children’s clothing.”

She adds that absolute pay is growing faster than inflation and PwC’s consumer sentiment survey found that marginally more people think they will be better off in the coming year than worse off. “It’s tentative, but promising.” 

PwC surveyed 2,000-plus Brits. With the bulk of shopping activity set to take place online, retailers and logistics providers have been rapidly improving on their delivery offerings. Nevertheless, Click and Collect is expected to grow at twice the rate of normal deliveries with the options available to consumers growing even faster, e.g. secure lockers, manned collection points and even to competitor retailers.

“As the popularity of Click and Collect grows, some High Street retailers are even encouraging store-based Click and Collect, either by offering free or cheaper in-store collection to drive add-on sales, or by hosting third party collections to drive new customer football,” says Kien Tan, Retail Strategy Director at PwC.

“Right now, Click and Collect accounts for one-sixth of the overall online delivery market. But whether its increased popularity will be enough to reverse the decline in the high street footfall remains to be seen.”

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