Season's trends and greetings


With the holidays nearly upon us, we are pleased to present our Christmas infographic for 2018.

As consumer confidence remains shaky and the future of the economy uncertain, it is no surprise that consumers are less likely to be spending more on Christmas gifts, with net spend turning negative in 2018. This contrasts with 2017, where consumers indicated a higher propensity to spend more compared to the year before. 

We have seen that sales events are starting to lose their appeal. Fewer consumers took advantage of Black Friday discounts in 2018, with a 6% decrease in the number purchasing gifts in the event. However, of those consumers who did buy gifts, more of them were making the most of the deals - a higher percentage were likely to buy `some' or `most' of their Christmas gifts during the period. Consumers are also indicating they are less likely to be partaking in post-Christmas sales compared to 2017.

Despite this, there may be some respite for retailers struggling with recent footfall declines over November and the first part of December. More consumers are leaving their gift shopping to later, with 37% of consumers planning to do their shopping in the last two weeks before Christmas Day. Let's hope for a last minute rush!

The last 12 months and the year ahead

2018 has seen some turbulent times for our much loved high streets which will continue to be challenged into the new year. There have been some clear successes though, with a rise of new business models, disruptive direct to consumer propositions and the increased power of social media all playing a role in shaping how we consume our goods and services.

Pragma has been lucky to work across a significant range of consumer verticals in the last twelve months, from beauty brands to craft beers, discount retail to luxury yachts and we continue to be engaged with the large shopping centre owners and airport operators globally. Many of our clients face similar but increasingly complex challenges and we would like to thank them for inviting us in to help them decipher the right path forward.  

We have once again made a seasonal donation in lieu of sending Christmas cards to Back Up, our charity partner, who transform lives after spinal cord injury.

We hope you all have an enjoyable and peaceful festive season and look forward to working with you in the new year.

Tom Holt