Some 70% of the retailers surveyed are feeling more positive about Christmas than last year

Some 70% of the retailers surveyed are feeling more positive about Christmas than last year

The UK retail sector is feeling much more positive about festive trading than last year, according to a new survey.

The report commissioned by Barclays’ Retail & Wholesale banking team said 70% of those surveyed are feeling more positive about Christmas trading than last year, of whom 28% are feeling “far more confident” – compared to a 52% level of overall positivity last year.

Meanwhile, 72% expect revenues to rise this year, with 21% expecting a double-digit sales increase.

Shopping on tablets is predicted to take off this year: 35% reckoned it would be their main sales channel from a growth perspective, ahead of smartphones and physical stores, both at 19%.

Meanwhile, shopping for gifts via social networking sites could be up 21% – from a small base – on 2013.

“2014 has been a good year for many retailers thanks to heightened consumer confidence and this is clearly reflected in their brighter outlook for the Christmas season,” said Richard Lowe, head of retail & wholesale at Barclays.

“It’s interesting to see that purchases on tablets have been cited as retailers’ biggest opportunity for growth and social commerce is also one to watch in the future, as ‘buy buttons’ on social networking sites will make online shopping even more accessible.”

The popularity of US shopping landmarks Black Friday and Mega Monday continues to grow: 65% of retailers are planning Black Friday promotions for 28 November, the day after Thanksgiving, while 96% expect online traffic to increase on Mega Monday, 1 December, traditionally the busiest online shopping day in the US.