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UK Holiday Sales to Hit Nearly £100 Billion

Ecommerce to exceed 20% of all retail holiday sales

November 20, 2018 (London) – The UK holiday shopping season is on pace to hit two major milestones this year. The holiday season, which eMarketer defines as November and December, is the most important retail period in nearly all major European markets.

This year in the UK, total holiday sales will jump 4.7% to reach £98.06 billion ($126.26 billion). The strong spending will be fueled by low unemployment, low inflation and strong wage growth in the UK, despite ominous daily headlines warning of Brexit and economic uncertainty.

Though the bulk of spending still takes place in the weeks leading up to Christmas, the holiday shopping period in most European countries starts earlier each year. While Thanksgiving is not a public holiday in the UK, many consumers will shop on Black Friday. And because of the lack of a physical holiday, digital channels play a much bigger role than they do in the US. However, there are signs that UK consumers are losing interest in Black Friday, partly because they feel that significantly better discounts can be found at other times.

“Consumers are increasingly ambivalent about how they buy things. They still spend more in-store than they do online, but they’re quick to go to a retailer’s website if that’s the best option at the time. In the run-up to Christmas, when there are no public holidays in the UK, digital options are particularly appealing,” said eMarketer senior analyst Bill Fisher.

Another major milestone this year is the percentage of shopping that will be done online. UK holiday ecommerce will jump nearly 16% this year to £21.22 billion ($27.33 billion). That represents 21.6% of total holiday sales, the highest percentage ever.

“The UK benefits from a robust system for fulfilling orders, allowing for multiple delivery options—including home delivery with package tracking, and buy online, pick up in store,” said Fisher.

 

Methodology
eMarketer’s forecasts and estimates are based on an analysis of quantitative and qualitative data from research firms, government agencies, media firms and public companies, plus interviews with top executives at publishers, ad buyers and agencies. Data is weighted based on methodology and soundness. Each eMarketer forecast fits within the larger matrix of all its forecasts, with the same assumptions and general framework used to project figures in a wide variety of areas. Regular re-evaluation of available data means the forecasts reflect the latest business developments, technology trends and economic changes.

 

About eMarketer
Founded in 1996, eMarketer is the first place to look for research about marketing in a digital world. eMarketer enables thousands of companies worldwide to understand marketing trends, consumer behavior and get the data needed to succeed in the competitive and fast-changing digital economy. eMarketer’s flagship product, eMarketer PRO, is home to all of eMarketer’s research, including forecasts, analyst reports, aggregated data from 3,000+ sources, interviews with industry leaders, articles, charts and comparative market data. eMarketer’s free daily newsletters span the US, EMEA and APAC and are read by more than 200,000 readers globally. In 2016 eMarketer, Inc. was acquired by European media giant Axel Springer S.E.

 

For more information, contact:
Douglas Clark
PR Director, North America
646-863-8807
dclark@emarketer.com

Posted on November 20, 2018.