British retailers are increasingly turning to sales and promotions to help attract customers, professional services group PwC revealed today.
New research by PwC, carried out with 100 retailers on the UK’s high streets, has shown that last week almost three-quarters of stores on the high street were on sale or advertising promotions such as three-for-two offers in their shop windows. This is an increase from 40% three years ago, giving a clear indication of the difficult conditions on the high street these days.
With high street sales this year already affected by consumers cutting back on luxuries, poor weather has added to retailers’ worries by keeping shoppers at home. To help tempt them back there is evidence that deeper discounts are being offered, as the average discount in PwC’s survey this year was 47%, up slightly from 45% in 2010 and 2011.
Some high street stores have already started offering discounts of 50% to 70%, which they usually keep back for later in the sale period, the Financial Times reported.
The London Olympic Games may also be influencing the pattern of the summer sales. Some high street stores in London are thought to be trying to clear out their older stock before the Olympics, when high spending visitors will be visiting the capital.
Overall, retailers are hoping that the improved weather and the Olympics will boost trade over the rest of the summer but consumers are expected to remain cautious.