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Do you buy now for Christmas or do you wait?

As we covered in one of our earlier posts, sales figures from UK bellwether John Lewis have been disappointing over the last two weeks. The company has also issued a rather downbeat statement with regards to the immediate prospects for the UK retail sector as we enter the Christmas sales period. So if you are a consumer do you by now for Christmas or do you wait?

While there is no doubt that two weeks of sales figures are nowhere near enough to create a trend, the negative statement from John Lewis is more of a concern in the short term. If this concern is transferred into the UK consumer sector then we could see many consumers delay spending for Christmas in the expectation that prices will fall as competition increases and they will get better value for their money near Christmas time. This could become something of a self fulfilling prophecy if the retail sales figures from John Lewis continue to disappoint and more companies announce similar trends.

On the positive side, every year we seem to hear negative comments and negative thoughts regarding the Christmas sales period but ultimately UK consumers are very resilient over the Christmas period and we have had very few, if any, disappointing Christmas trading periods in the recent past.

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