Seasonal bargains unlikely
Shoppers are unlikely to see too many pre-Christmas discounts this year as the Republic’s retailers have been decidedly cautious about the amounts of stock they have ordered in the run-up to what should be their busiest period.
Credit insurer Atradius says that in recent years, retailers discounted heavily coming up to Christmas, partly to get customers coming through their doors, but also because their predictions for demand were too optimistic.
Owen Bassett, the firm’s senior retail risk underwriter, says that in the last quarter of 2011, many of them presumed that the worst was over and placed large pre-Christmas orders with “misplaced optimism”.
They were left with no option but to discount heavily and early to shift stock, hitting profits at a critical time of year.
He adds that they will be “desperate” to have a good Christmas as the period generates up to one-third of sales. Subdued growth and another austerity budget mean that shoppers will not break out before Christmas, at least.