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Gap among first to launch winter sale while others discount to tempt spent-up shoppers

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Gap’s winter sale is now in full flow and industry suppliers predict that more retailers will follow suit, discounting to coax shoppers who have already bought all their Christmas presents into spending more.

Gap has launched its Winter Sale yesterday, offering discounts of up to 50% off, now that the peak online shopping season has passed. But while the January sales traditionally sold off stock that hadn’t been sold ahead of Christmas, these cut-price goods could still be delivered in plenty of time for December 25. Gap’s home page focuses on last-minute purchases and on preparations for New Year’s Eve, as well as that sale date.

As yet, Gap is one of the first to launch its official sale, but other retail home pages are focusing on the discounts. Debenhams , for example, has an ‘up to half price’ womenswear and shoe ‘event’ on its front page, while Mothercare’s home page is currently promoting 60% off toys, and Marks & Spencer is offering 30% off ranges including jumpers and nightwear.

PCA Predict says it expects more retailers to pull forward their Boxing Day sales reflecting what it terms as a “shortage of shoppers” following the UK’s biggest-ever Black Friday.

According to IMRG/Experian, shoppers spent £1.1bn over the course of Black Friday, and £3.3bn over the course of the Cyber weekend, which stretched from Black Friday up to the end of Cyber Monday.

But, says PCA, shoppers are now all spent up, and sales may tempt more spending. Its Big Data Labs show shopping levelling out in December following big peaks around Black Friday.

Jamie Turner, co-founder and CTO at PCA Predict, said: “With Black Friday this year being the most successful yet, many shoppers have already managed to buy all of their Christmas presents. This leaves retailers vulnerable to a slow December and we could see them choosing to bring sales, which traditionally kick off on Boxing Day, forward to try and give themselves a vital injection of revenue. If so, Christmas Day could see more ecommerce traffic than ever before, with bargain-hungry shoppers turning away from their turkey in favour of finding online deals and discounts.”

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