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Seasonal items offered at a discount

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Seasonal items offered at a discount

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We’re always excited to discover new trends in retailer discounting. Usually there are similarities year-on-year, but an increasing number of websites we monitor have had unexpected discounting in 2014.  
As the festive season approaches, it seems that everywhere you look, food and decorations are on offer. Not only are these products discounted, most have a considerable amount of money knocked off, or a promotion such as ‘buy one, get one free’ running.  
But has full price ever existed, or are these offers a way of trapping the consumer into thinking they’ve got themselves a bargain?
Here at Competitor Monitor, we’ve tracked festive products such as Christmas trees, gift-wrap, cards, food and decorations over time, to offer insight into pricing changes during the run up to Christmas. Here are our findings:
  • Artificial trees are currently reduced by 50%, some even less than half price. By launching price history reports for several monitored websites, we can see that artificial trees were only sold at full price during August this year. The best time to buy is during November and December – pricing trends have shown that 50% offers only exist during these months.
  • We’ve tracked prices of Christmas cards on several monitored sites. Our data shows that there are currently discounts of up to 50% available, will full prices offered up until October.
  •  Christmas-specific gift wraps currently have a 30-50% saving depending on where you buy – most only stayed at full price until September.
  • Foods such as chocolate biscuits and Christmas puddings have had their prices slashed by 50% – research shows these items were sold at full price in August.
From the research above, it appears that the most cost-effective time to prepare for Christmas is later rather than sooner.
However, based on past indicators, prices will increase around 19th December, when people have less time to bargain hunt and are less conscious of how much they spend, giving retailers an opportunity to increase their prices. 
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