Slow start to Christmas leaves retailers racing to sell festive stock

Slow start to Christmas leaves retailers racing t...

UK Head of Retail at KPMG, David McCorquodale, gives feedback on the latest retail sales figures from the Office for National Statistics

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David McCorquodale, UK Head of Retail at KPMG, comments on the latest retail sales figures from the Office for National Statistics:

“The halloween heatwave stifled sales of clothing and this has left many fashion retailers with a substantial stock overhang. Many may take the opportunity to discount and sell this unwanted stock in the Black Friday sales, which should give consumers the added incentive they need to restock their winter wardrobe.

“The grocery sector remains incredibly challenging and the major players are trying to balance a difficult combination of heavy investment in their infrastructure coupled with flatlining sales in the UK. For most, future sales growth will only be achieved by taking market share from competitors, which means offering better products at better prices than their rivals.  This intense competition is good news for shoppers, who will benefit from the huge efforts the grocers are making to try to win their custom.

Despite a slow start to the festive season, retailers should see healthy sales this Christmas. Black Friday will help to kick start Christmas spending and this year it is expected to be the biggest it has ever been in the UK. Retailers have invested heavily in this US-driven sale and some have bought in lines specifically just to sell on the day. Shoppers will be offered deals and discounts across the full range of categories to help them get ready for Christmas.”


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About KPMG

KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, operates from 22 offices across the UK with approximately 11,500 partners and staff. The UK firm recorded a turnover of £1.8 billion in the year ended September 2013. KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax, and Advisory services. It operates in 155 countries and has 155,000 professionals working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such.

This article represents the views of the author only, and does not necessarily represent the views or professional advice of KPMG in the UK.

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