Most retailers make the vast majority of their money over the festive period, so it stands to reason they meticulously plan for it throughout the year.

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Capitalising on the annual industry event Christmas in July, traditionally a time when retailers look towards the golden quarter, Retail Week has produced a raft of inspiring and must-read content to help retailers prepare for what is expected to be a Christmas like no other. 

We have looked ahead to how the consumer will be feeling and behaving by Christmas, and how we forecast retail sales to bounce back across non-food, broken down by category and by channel. 

We have also examined what retailers have to do to get their systems up to scratch, implementing tech and latest innovations, in what is expected to be an unpredictable post-Brexit, post-pandemic festive period.

Here we pull together the resources you need to prepare for Christmas 2021, including a free report featuring exclusive data, a deep-dive analysis outlining ways to help retailers mitigate supply chain disruption, in-depth analysis and a virtual event featuring retail leaders and experts.

Data: The outlook for Christmas 2021

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Our new report, The Christmas Forecast provides predictions and analysis for retail sales this golden quarter, as well as sales forecasts by sector.

The report, produced working with Board, ChannelAdvisor and PwC, predicts online penetration and compares all data with 2020 and 2019 – bringing clarity to what lies ahead.

It reveals that many retailers can expect a better Christmas for 2021, with modest year-on-year growth of 0.5% expected for non-food sales.

However, grocers and food and beverage retailers are expected to find it hard to compete with 2020 levels, when food sales escalated in light of hospitality and leisure closures.

Taking food sales into account, a drop of 2.3% in overall retail sales is expected this Christmas.

Access the report for free here to find out consumer sentiment and put your business in prime position to attract the lucrative Christmas consumer.

Deep dive: Tackling the fulfilment nightmare before Christmas

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With online sales expected to remain high this golden quarter and the industry facing operational challenges as the first post-Brexit Christmas approaches, in this feature we explore how retailers can shore up their operations and fulfilment to meet consumer demand ahead of peak.

The piece features expert commentary and case studies to understand the ways retailers are rethinking their supply chains; from investing in rapid delivery and forging partnerships, to sophisticated warehouse and DC software.

  • Read the deep dive here to get your supply chain in order ahead of peak.

Watch: Hobbycraft and Co-op share strategies for Christmas success

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On July 8, Retail Week brought together Hobbycraft marketing director Katherine Paterson, Co-op Food South West regional manager Catherine Chattwood and PwC leader of industry for consumer markets Lisa Hooker to get a handle on how to plan for a successful Christmas 2021.

The trio shared insights on the big new consumer trends to expect, the role stores will play this Christmas, lessons from 2020’s golden quarter for this year’s strategy and more.

  • Watch the panel discussion for free on demand here.

Face time: PwC’s predictions for Christmas 2021 

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How will consumers be feeling and behaving by Christmas? How will this Christmas compare with the outlier that was the 2020 golden quarter?  

Watch our interview here where Retail Week executive editor George MacDonald speaks to PwC UK leader of industry for consumer markets Lisa Hooker to uncover the answers.

Analysis: What will be this year’s Christmas bestsellers?

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As retailers put the finishing touches on their Christmas ranges, what will be the sector’s hottest product themes and festive bestsellers? 

Although customers are placing emphasis on having the perfect Christmas after many saw their plans thwarted by lockdowns in 2020, shopping around will remain at the forefront of their minds after a year of relying heavily on ecommerce to shop for everything from stocking-fillers to crackers.

Read this in-depth feature to discover which products will be the bestsellers this festive season.