Almost Half of U.K. Shoppers Spent Less at Christmas This Year

  • Brexit-led inflation, tight incomes keep lid on spending
  • Two-thirds of British consumers shopped online, many at Amazon

The Death of the Department Store

Many Britons seem to have tightened their belts this festive season in an early sign that retailers won’t have received much of a boost from the holidays.

Forty-seven percent of consumers said they spent less on Christmas this year than last, according to a survey by Retail Economics. A quarter said they wouldn’t shop in after-Christmas sales because they had already spent their money during Black Friday promotions.

Read more: Crucial Christmas in Store for U.K. Retailers

Faster inflation following the Brexit vote and squeezed incomes have curbed consumer spending in the U.K. this year. Snowy weather may have also kept shoppers away from stores despite deep price cuts from the likes of Debenhams Plc, House of Fraser Ltd. and New Look Retail Group Ltd.

“Festive cheer will be thinly spread across the industry,” said Richard Lim, chief executive officer of Retail Economics, which provides research and analysis on U.K. retailing. “Online will see the lion’s share of growth.”

More than two-thirds of consumers said they did some of their shopping online this year. Amazon.com Inc. was the most popular retailer, followed by Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s Asda, Tesco Plc and Marks & Spencer Group Plc.

Retail Economics surveyed 2,000 people starting on Sunday.

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