Total UK retail sales in Q4 are expected to rise by 2% to £98.8bn for the three months to the end of 2018, known as the ‘golden quarter’.
According to retail data and insights firm GlobalData, 2018 has been a year of “retail failures, profit warnings and store closures so far”, but the ‘golden quarter’ offers retailers the opportunity to “gain sales from consumers who are finally ready to prioritise shopping”.
Food and grocery retail sales are expected to increase by 2.5%, compared with 3.6% in 2017, and non-food retail sales has been forecasted to increase by 1.6%, compared with 1.5% last year.
The group added that online spending will be “bolstered” this Christmas by Instagram’s shopping function, which launched this year, as well as Pinterest featuring direct links to retailers’ product pages.
A statement by the group read: “Health and beauty remains a winner at Christmas and shoppers are expected to spend on premium lines for both gifting and self-treating. This is helped by a wider choice of brands and greater shopper knowledge, especially in terms of ingredients. With the appeal of department stores on the wane, we expect online pureplays to take advantage, luring shoppers in with discounts and loyalty schemes.”