If the forecast, which assumes restrictions will remain similar to their current state, manifests, the deficit on last year would be worse than the improving picture the retail industry saw prior to the second national lockdown.
With the majority of northern England under Tier 3 restrictions and non-essential stores remaining closed in Scotland and Northern Ireland, local lockdowns continue to impact shopper numbers.
“Footfall levels will clearly be hampered by the restricted number of shoppers that can be in-store at any one time, safeguarding social distancing, though some retailers will plan to stay open for longer in order to alleviate the problem,” explained Dr Tim Denison, director of retail intelligence at Ipsos Retail Performance.
“Anxiety that shopping destinations could be crowded will also drive more business on-line and click-and-collect will be the chosen path-to-purchase for many, safe in the knowledge that they won’t be at the mercy of deliveries failing to arrive in time for Christmas.
“The message to everyone is “get your shopping done early” so that you can relax and be kind to yourself. This year has been hard enough for everyone, why make Christmas any harder on yourselves than you need to?”