Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

Online shopping boom as Christmas threat approaches

December 8, 2008




Today is the day that we all start to panic about our earlier lack of enthusiasm regarding Christmas shopping.  Socks for your Grandad, Turkish Delight for your fat uncle, some stupidly overpriced soap box set for your great aunt, probably in exchange for some cheap perfume which will bring you out in a rash.  Ah, the joys of the festive season! 


But if you don’t fancy jostling your way down Oxford Street with your nose wedged firmly between the armpit of a harassed father desperately trying to find the last James Bond figurine in London and the exhaust pipe of a double-decker bus, then don’t despair… just use your lunch hour to do some Internet shopping instead.


Today is forecast to be the busiest Internet shopping day of the year, with £320m forecast to be spent online.  With some 29 million people are expected to use the Internet to buy Christmas presents this year, the Internet trade body IMRG says the UK’s Christmas online retail sales could reach £13.6bn ($19.9bn). The peak shopping hour will take place between 1 and 2pm today when £28m may be spent online in an hour.


What better than doing your Christmas shopping from the comfort of your own PC?  There is, of course, no guarantee that your goods will turn up in time for Christmas, but that’s another matter….


A credit crunch Christmas

November 24, 2008



A year ago, few people had heard of the dreaded term ‘credit crunch’, but the phrase has now entered dictionaries.  We PR people were probably amongst the first to start splashing the financial crisis all over the media and already by Christmas 2007 we were already bored of talking about it.  This year, however, there is really no escape, with the credit crunch having now pervaded the lives of everyone in the UK in one form or another.  Employment figures dropped alarmingly fast this year, and as of exactly one month ago today, the Office for National Statistics announced figures showing negative economic growth meaning that we are on the brink of recession.  This doesn’t bode well for the millions of UK businesses that rely on the festive season to boost their yearly revenues. It is actually estimated that the Christmas shopping season can account for as much as forty per cent of a retail store’s annual revenue and as much as three-quarters of its annual profit.  But not this year!  

As the Guardian’s Steve Henry points out, there is a silver lining to every cloud, and this year it is the fact that Tesco has been the first of the UK’s biggest retailers to recognise that we’d really prefer not to be bombarded with celebrity-riddled luxury Christmas advertising this year (“Compare Tesco, who have – in my view – won the PR war by apparently ditching the overpaid celebs. That’s doing something new. That’s interesting.”). As he outlines the various advantages and disadvantages of spending millions of pounds to jump on Britain’s obsession with celeb culture at Christmas time, he asks us: “Is it time for advertising to explore new ways of talking to people? Is it possible that the credit crunch will force us all to look afresh at advertising and demand that it is more relevant, more authentic, and less wasteful?” – I hope so!  Even the biggest brands may not be able to afford to pay celebrities to dress up in silly Christmas outfits next year…

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