More retailers will offer promotions in the week before Christmas Day than during the Black Friday Sale weekend, according to trends observed by PwC.
The auditing firm expects promotional activity in the seven days before Christmas to outweigh that of Black Friday, with retailers opting to run Sales events in an effort to clear festive stock.
PwC found that 84% of online retailers and 75% of high street stores in the UK offered some kind of promotion over this year’s Black Friday weekend – similar levels to last year.
But while more than a third of participating retailers returned to full-price sales the following week, around 10% of those surveyed promptly relaunched promotions.
PwC consumer markets leader Lisa Hooker said retailers have ramped up promotional activity this year in order to clear Christmas stock while the weather remains favourable.
She said: “As we rapidly approach Christmas itself, we are already seeing an uptick in promotional activity as retailers try to attract customers through their doors and clear festive stock, particularly as last week’s snow and ice put a dent on high street footfall across large parts of the country.
“Last year, 98% of the online retailers we surveyed had some kind of homepage promotion in the week before Christmas.
“While this year’s trend does not suggest we will reach the same levels, we are expecting to see more bargains for shoppers in the coming week, with more retailers on promotion next week than over Black Friday.”
Hooker added that several retailers that previously chose not to participate in Black Friday offered “some kind of promotion this year”.
She said: “Consumers have told us that the beginning of December is the most popular time to do their Christmas shopping, so retailers have listened and learnt to schedule their promotions to preserve margin over this critical period.”