A number of clothing retailers have already reported their Christmas results for 2014. Two key themes so far have emerged: the first is that the clothing sector picked up during the festive period, sales for many were over and above those of the previous year. Secondly, the growing importance of multi-channel retail at Christmas.
Weather created opportunities for UK retailers at Christmas
The mild and sunny weather over December was generally very conducive to the retail market at
Christmas, across all sectors. These are the weather conditions which are generally favourable for
driving footfall into stores, and they also keep consumer heating and fuel bills low, freeing up
discretionary spend. Moreover, continued low interest rates in the UK and low fuel prices over the
Yuletide period created an “additional tail wind”.
A generally mild, sunny, if wet, Christmas
Over most of December the weather came from the west, from the Atlantic, and UK temperatures were milder (0.5 degrees Celsius) than the seasonal average (4.4 degree Celsius). Moreover, sunshine was well above the norm, indeed it was the second sunniest December since 1929. Why is this important? Well, Nielsen estimates that 20 per cent of all Christmas spending is done in the final two weeks before Christmas, and above average temperatures and sunny weather means shoppers head out and about.