The recent 'Big Freeze' to hit the UK not only impacted on our commutes to work but also the nations shopping habits. A recent study by GfK NOP showed that half of the population stayed away from shops and 27% switched their intended High Street purchase to an online purchase.
The research which surveyed a representative cross sample of 1,420 members of the UK public between January 15th to 18th 2010 presented mixed news for retailers during what is typically a crucial trading period. An encouraging 39% of shoppers claimed to have simply deferred their purchase of non-essential items until a marked improvement on the weather, suggesting retailers could expect a surge in footfall over the weeks to come. However, more than one in five shoppers who had planned to shop during early January and make the most of the seasonal sales have now decided against making those purchase decisions, resulting in an obvious loss of revenue for the High Street and the end of an already difficult year.
'The weather conditions during the first two weeks of 2010 have undoubtedly had a significant effect on the fortunes of the High Street during the crucial January sales period, and while we predict a possible late surge due to the amount of shoppers deferring purchases, it's clear that the Big Freeze has dampened the spirits of many who were planning to buy.' Comments GfK NOP Director, Ivan Browne. 'On the upside, the quarter of shoppers switching from the High Street to the internet is a sign of the times and great news for online retailers.'
Clothes, home wares, small electrical items and entertainment have been the target of shoppers since Christmas with 54% of the UK public claiming to have been 'sale shopping'.
While 9% of UK consumers have held out for their Christmas 2009 purchases for friends and family where they could 'delay' gift purchases a bargain hunting 13% have taken the opportunity of the sales to start shopping for Christmas 2010.