How Much Do We Spend In The January Sale?

The festive season is over, and the January sales are well-underway. If you’ve been trying to work out just how much you need to budget, and what exactly you need to buy in the sales this year, then this infographic might be for you, as it can give you an insight into how much we really spend in the January sales.

Some people believe that January sale purchases are impulse buys, so, before you head out to your most-loved department store or put all the goods in your online basket, take a step back and consider whether you actually need it. Every year the amount of money we spend in our favourite stores, such as Debenhams and Harvey Nichols, increases. Find out exactly how much we each spend in the January sales below.

When Do January Sales Begin vs When Did They Begin?

Some of us no longer call the sales that commence in January the ‘January sales’ as many UK department stores and online retailers, such as Debenhams and other clothing retailers, start their post-Christmas sales as soon as Boxing Day. However, even though a number of high street stores start as early as December 26th or December 27th, many of these sales last until mid-January.

If you’re an avid shopper or love a bargainous deal, you’ll be pleased to know that some big-name brands, such as Fortnum & Mason and Hamleys, host their own sales at different times of the year. Over the last few years, however, January sales have started as early as the beginning of December, which is ideal for those who want to save on their Christmas shopping.

Spending Intentions In The UK (2015-16)

Are you a part of the 24 per cent of UK consumers that claimed that they don’t know how much they intend to spend in the January sales? To the surprise of many retailers, despite recent inflation and the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, a jaw-dropping 43 per cent of UK consumers planned to spend approximately the same amount in the January sales in 2016, and only 6 per cent planned to spend a lot less.

The Boxing Day and January sales can be the perfect time to stock up on birthday gifts for the oncoming year. Boots UK, for example, is offering up to 50 per cent off top brands, including Jack Wills, Ted Baker and Soap & Glory, as well as 3 for 2 on selected products throughout the store.

Despite the success of in-store shopping, many of us are turning to online shopping channels to avoid the stress of aimlessly wandering round a shopping centre and holiday arguments, and thanks to developing technologies, this is more possible than ever. It appears that spending is on the rise in the January sales too, with 14 per cent of UK consumers claiming they would spend more in the January sales in 2015.

Monthly Internet Retail Sales Value (Jan 2013 – 2017)

In recent years there has been a significant increase in the monthly internet retail sales value. In December 2015, internet retail sales value in the United Kingdom was at its all-time low. The following year, however, internet retail sales value in the United Kingdom more than tripled from 8.4 per cent to 30.1 per cent. While we are unable to confirm exactly why internet retail sales value doubled in a year, there are numerous factors that impact the monthly internet retail sales value, including:

  • Competitive pricing
  • Product quality
  • Shipping time and cost
  • Online reviews
  • Return policy
  • Loyalty rewards
  • Ease of navigation

Not only can rising inflation significantly affect monthly internet retail sales value, but poor wage growth can also impact consumer spending. In January 2017, for example, retail sales divided at 14.8 per cent. This could be due to the fact that many consumers are far more cautious when it comes to spending money in January.

Leading Sales Categories (2014 – 2015)

But what do we spend our money on in the January sales? According to statistics, 63 per cent of consumers planned to buy clothing and accessories in the January sales in the United Kingdom in December 2014 and 2015. However, -3 per cent of UK consumers are seeking new smartphones, tablets and computers at the start of the New Year, and -4 per cent are hunting for new homeware and furniture. This can be for several reasons. Not only are mobile phones, tablets and even computers often gifted to a loved one as a Christmas present, and thus they do not have to go out and buy their own at the beginning of the year, but consumers appear to be far more focused on purchasing discounted toiletries, beauty products and perfume by high-end brands, such as those that can be found at department stores.

Retail Sales: January 2017

In January 2017, the quantity bought in the retail industry is estimated to have increased by 1.5 per cent compared to January 2016 – the lowest growth seen since November 2013. This could be a result of the average store prices, including fuel, increasing by almost 2 per cent throughout the year. As average store prices increased, online sales parallelly increased by 10.1 per cent year-on-year, but fell at the beginning of the year by 7.2 per cent.

There are numerous factors that impact ecommerce sales, including the convenience of shopping online during busy periods, competitive pricing and exclusive loyalty rewards. Many UK consumers may turn to the internet throughout the festive season to grab the same item for less, or to simply avoid fighting through a crowd of unsettled people scrambling around to find the item on sale in their size.

Do More People Shop Online Rather Than In Store During The January Sales? (December 2015 Survey)

The real question is, do more people shop online rather than in store during the January sales? The answer is yes. 28 per cent of UK consumers strongly agree that the first place they will go to shop for January sales will be online. However, approximately 47 per cent of UK consumers agreed to some extent that the first place they will go to shop for January sales will be online and not in store – and the rest? 29 per cent of UK consumers neither agree nor disagree that the first place they will shop for January sales will be online and not in store, and 10 per cent of UK consumers simply don’t know. Not only is online shopping deemed to be far more convenient than stepping out into the wild January sales, but online shopping allows consumers to find exactly what they need at the click of a button.

How much did you spend in the January sale this year?

Generic advice is not a service regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.