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BRC campaign urges shoppers to start buying early for Christmas online and in-store to spread demand during pandemic

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The British Retail Consortium (BRC) is calling on shoppers to do their Christmas shopping early this year in order to spread demand at a traditionally busy time of the year.

A new BRC advertising campaign is launching today across radio, print and social media, asking shoppers to ‘shop early, start wrapping, enjoy Christmas’. It aims to prevent the pre-Christmas peak trading rush that has, in recent years, started in mid late November. Instead, it wants to see demand flow more smoothly in order to enable staff to work safely while keeping a social distance amid Covid-19 regulations. 

Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the BRC, said, “Whilst celebrations will no doubt be a little different this year, we know customers will want to keep Christmas special. That’s why we’re encouraging people to shop early and prevent the last minute rush so their fellow customers and all the store colleagues, warehouse workers and delivery drivers working behind the scenes, have the space they need to stay safe and well.

BRC’s September figures show signs some customers have already started a little earlier than usual, as spreading your Christmas shopping has many benefits in today’s climate – from safety to managing finances. However, we want more people to embrace the true Christmas spirit, think of others and ‘Shop Early, Start Wrapping’ and most of all enjoy Christmas – however they are celebrating.”

The campaign also comes soon after IMRG analysis suggested that retailers are launching early discounting and Christmas shopping events, including the recent Amazon Prime Day, to encourage shoppers to get their shopping out of the way sooner. That would enable retailers’ fulfilment systems to cope at a time when more shoppers are now buying online routinely. Ecommerce is now expected to to rise beyond previous peak trading highs in the run up to this year’s festivities.

In recent years, the behavioural changes seen during peak trading have given good indications as to how shoppers may want to buy in the future. 

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