In Store Sales Will Flatline This Christmas, But Online Sales and the Popularity of "Click N Collect" Will Surge By £3 Billion

Nov 7, 2017

LONDON, 7 November 2017 – Christmas sales will grow by £3bn this year driven by growth in online shopping, while in-store sales will stall, according to a new survey of 1,000 UK shoppers by management consultancy Oliver Wyman. Almost three quarters (71 percent) will take advantage of ‘click n’ collect’ services for all or part of their Christmas shopping haul.

Overall, the online share of Christmas sales will grow by nine percent this year. This growth is not just driven by the younger generations: in fact, it’s the baby boomer generation who are the fastest growing group, with the average baby boomer now planning to do a quarter (24 percent) of their Christmas shopping online (a 12 percent increase from 2016).

Physical stores will still play a vital role, however, with three in five shoppers (61 percent) planning to browse in store before buying online this Christmas.

Duncan Brewer, partner in Oliver Wyman’s retail team, says: “While there is no denying that consumers still value the in-store experience, our extensive survey reveals that there continues to be a big move to ordering online, with click n’ collect breathing new life into the experience.

“Modern day consumers – even the older generations - have an integrated approach to shopping and will demand the same from retailers this Christmas. They expect their gift purchasing experience to be completely seamless, whether in-store or online, with the same products available, and to be able to return and exchange gifts purchased online in the store.

“However, few retailers track their customers and account for their sales in a genuinely consolidated manner across online and in-store. Those that fail to offer shoppers the best ‘omnichannel’ gift shopping experience, and who continue to view online and physical assets as separate channels, will lose out this Christmas.”

About the research

Oliver Wyman surveyed 1009 adults in the UK who were planning on doing Christmas shopping in 2017. The respondents were representative of the UK public in terms of age and gender.

About Oliver Wyman

Oliver Wyman is a global leader in management consulting. With offices in 50+ cities across nearly 30 countries, Oliver Wyman combines deep industry knowledge with specialized expertise in strategy, operations, risk management, and organization transformation. The firm has more than 4,500 professionals around the world who help clients optimize their business, improve their operations and risk profile, and accelerate their organizational performance to seize the most attractive opportunities. Oliver Wyman is a wholly owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies [NYSE: MMC]. For more information, visit www.oliverwyman.com. Follow Oliver Wyman on Twitter @OliverWyman.