Having given up on what is a ‘typical’ quarter about 2 years ago we have come into Q4 with a sense of trepidation. With the debacle at Downing Street, the confirmation that we are in a recession, inflation soaring, energy prices sky rocketing, the cost of everything increasing, strikes left, right and centre it was harder than ever to forecast what is usually the best 3 months of the year for the DR market. Does anyone have any money and if they do, will they spend it?
We certainly saw that it was off to a slow start in October – we didn’t see the usual fairly stark increase in sales as people begin to prepare for Christmas, instead there was a gentle upward trend. For the last couple of years Black Friday seemed to become Black November but this year it seems companies had learnt from previous years that you don’t really gain anything with this – except that a good deal might get even better if you wait until the actual Black Friday weekend. So the majority of our clients held off discounting until the 21st Nov and we saw some strong results which I expect will continue into this week.
It fees like Christmas preparation is getting later and later and so I am expecting December to be when it all happens. Gone are the days when the majority of people have everything sorted by the end of the first week – this is now when it all gets started.
Consumers will be looking for good deals and quick delivery (could be interesting with the Royal Mail strikes…) and also this year, more than ever before, perhaps for gifts with meaning and conscience (well some will anyway!)
We are advising our clients to maximise this month and take as many opportunities as possible. There will be plenty of deals to be done for those brave enough to increase their budgets – after all, fortune favours the brave – and coming into what will be a tough Q1, it will stand you in good stead.
Alice Buttling, Managing Director