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Seasonal Shopping (Autumn/Winter) - UK - April 2018

“Despite economic uncertainty clouding the retail sector in 2017, autumn events remained popular, with back-to-school in particular performing strongly. While Halloween and Bonfire Night are both popular for families, they remain relatively small and have failed to truly impact retail sales over the autumn months. Retailers will need to focus on heavily marketing these events as a way to engage those with and without children.”

– Chana Baram, Retail Analyst

This report examines the following issues:

  • Other key festivals present opportunity 
  • Room for a more sustainable approach to seasonal events
  • Missing opportunities in Bonfire Night

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Products covered in this Report
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • Back-to-school worth almost £1 billion
              • Figure 1: Estimated autumn/winter seasonal events market size (Including VAT), 2017
            • August sales boosted by inflation on back-to-school items
              • Figure 2: CPIH annual percentage change, for back-to-school categories, August 2016 and August 2017
            • Black Friday encourages November online sales
              • Figure 3: Online share of all retail sales, monthly, 2016-17
            • Companies and brands
              • Increase in Halloween in-store experiences
                • Figure 4: Budweiser King of Fears shop, 2017
              • Cut-price supermarket party ideas
                • Advertising expenditure increases in August and September
                  • The consumer
                    • Nine in ten make back-to-school purchase
                      • Figure 5: Products purchased for the start of the school term in autumn 2017, September 2017
                    • Supermarkets remain popular for back-to-school purchasing
                      • Figure 6: Types of retailers used for purchasing items at the start of the autumn 2017 school term, September 2017
                    • Parents care most about product quality
                      • Figure 7: Improvement wanted for back-to-school items, September 2017
                    • Parents of young children biggest-spending group for Halloween
                      • Figure 8: Spend on Halloween and Bonfire Night, November 2017
                    • Amazon and supermarkets most popular for Halloween and Bonfire Night
                      • Figure 9: Retailers purchased from for Halloween and Bonfire Night, November 2017
                    • Value for money leading purchasing factor
                      • Figure 10: Purchase drivers for Halloween and Bonfire Night retailers, November 2017
                    • People keen to recycle Halloween items
                      • Figure 11: Behaviours towards Halloween, November 2017
                    • Most enjoy attending a Bonfire Night celebration
                      • Figure 12: Behaviours towards Bonfire Night, November 2017
                    • What we think
                    • Issues and Insights

                      • Other key festivals present opportunity
                        • The facts
                          • The implications
                            • Room for a more sustainable approach to seasonal events
                              • The facts
                                • The implications
                                  • Missing opportunities in Bonfire Night
                                    • The facts
                                      • The implications
                                      • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                        • Back-to-school now worth almost £1 billion
                                          • Halloween and Bonfire Night remain smallest seasonal events
                                            • Autumn takes largest share of retail sales
                                              • Back-to-school boosts August sales
                                                • Black Friday encourages November online sales
                                                  • November and December have similar value of online retail sales
                                                    • Health and Beauty, as well as Food specialists had a good Christmas
                                                    • Market Size and Segmentation

                                                        • Uniforms drive back-to-school market growth
                                                          • Figure 13: Estimated autumn/winter seasonal events market size (including VAT), 2017
                                                          • Figure 14: Estimated breakdown of retail sales by products purchased for back-to-school, 2017
                                                          • Figure 15: Estimated breakdown of retail sales by products purchased for back-to-school (including VAT), 2017
                                                          • Figure 16: Estimated breakdown of retail sales by products purchased for Halloween and Bonfire Night, 2017
                                                          • Figure 17: Estimated breakdown of retail sales by products purchased for Halloween and Bonfire Night (including VAT), 2017
                                                          • Figure 18: What extra money is spent on, June 2017-February 2018
                                                      • Retail Sales across the Year

                                                        • Autumn continues to dominate share of retail sales
                                                          • Figure 19: Percentage of retail sales (excluding fuel) at current prices, non-seasonally adjusted, by season, 2016 and 2017
                                                          • Figure 20: Value of retail sales (excluding fuel) at current prices, non-seasonally adjusted, by season, 2017
                                                        • Retail sales concentrated towards the end of the year
                                                          • Figure 21: Value of all retail sales (excluding fuel) at current prices, non-seasonally adjusted, by month, 2016 and 2017
                                                        • Non-store retailing increases share of market over autumn period
                                                          • Figure 22: Percentage of retail sales (excluding fuel) at current prices, non-seasonally adjusted, by sector, 2017
                                                          • Figure 23: Value of retail sales (excluding fuel) at current prices, non-seasonally adjusted, by sector, 2017
                                                        • Growth in retail sales by month
                                                          • April sees strongest growth
                                                            • Back-to-school helps to boost August sales…
                                                              • Figure 24: CPIH annual percentage change, for back-to-school categories, August 2016 and August 2017
                                                            • …while Halloween fails to have an effect on disappointing October sales
                                                              • Figure 25: Year-on-year percentage change in all retail sales (excluding fuel) at current prices, non-seasonally adjusted, by month, 2017
                                                            • Electrical sector sees defined seasonal trends
                                                              • Figure 26: Annual percentage change in leading category retail sales at current prices, non-seasonally adjusted, by month, 2017
                                                          • Online Retail Sales across the Year

                                                            • Online share of sales peaks for Black Friday
                                                              • Figure 27: Online share of all retail sales, monthly, 2016-17
                                                            • November becomes as important as December for online
                                                              • Figure 28: Value of all online retail sales at current prices, non-seasonally adjusted, by month, 2016 and 2017
                                                            • Online growth peaks in first half of the year
                                                              • Figure 29: Annual percentage change in all online retail sales at current prices, non-seasonally adjusted, by month, 2017
                                                            • Clothing and footwear is strongest online performer
                                                              • Figure 30: Online retail sales as a percentage of all retail sales, by category, monthly, 2016 and 2017
                                                          • Black Friday and Christmas

                                                            • Black Friday sales reached £4.2 billion in 2017
                                                              • Sales over the Christmas period rose 4.5%
                                                              • Companies and Brands – What You Need to Know

                                                                • Marks & Spencer launches school footwear service
                                                                  • Gender-neutral uniforms
                                                                    • Topshop and Topman ‘Stranger Things’ Halloween collaboration
                                                                      • Cut-price Halloween party ideas
                                                                        • Advertising expenditure increases in August and September
                                                                          • Asda links with Shazam for Halloween campaign
                                                                          • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                            • Back-to-school
                                                                              • Marks & Spencer launches kids’ footwear fitting advice service
                                                                                • Gender-neutral school uniforms
                                                                                  • Emoji and Selfridges team up for back-to-school initiative
                                                                                    • Halloween
                                                                                      • Pop-up dress up shops
                                                                                        • Figure 31: Budweiser King of Fears shop, 2017
                                                                                      • Topshop Halloween Stranger Things collaboration
                                                                                        • Figure 32: Topshop and Topman’s Stranger Things display at flagship store, 2017
                                                                                      • Halloween makeovers
                                                                                        • Supermarket party ideas
                                                                                          • Figure 33: Tesco online Halloween promotions, 2017
                                                                                        • Other events
                                                                                          • Hotel Chocolat Eid gifts
                                                                                          • Advertising and Marketing Activity

                                                                                              • Back-to-school helps to boost August expenditure
                                                                                                • Figure 34: Recorded advertising expenditure by all retailers, by month, 2016 and 2017
                                                                                              • Share of advertising spend in autumn and winter months decreases
                                                                                                • Figure 35: Recorded advertising expenditure by all retailers, by seasons, as % of total spending, 2016 and 2017
                                                                                              • Overall spend for 2017 is on the up
                                                                                                • Figure 36: Recorded advertising expenditure by all retailers, by month, 2016 and 2017
                                                                                              • Television remains the most important advertising medium
                                                                                                • Figure 37: Recorded advertising expenditure by all retailers, by media type, as % of total spending, 2016 and 2017
                                                                                                • Figure 38: Recorded advertising expenditure by all retailers, by media type, 2015-17
                                                                                              • Halloween campaigns
                                                                                                • Asda-Shazam lip sync tie-up
                                                                                                  • Aldi Family
                                                                                                    • Have a scream this Halloween with Wilko
                                                                                                      • Back-to-school
                                                                                                        • George’s ‘Strong Clothes for Strong Kids’
                                                                                                          • Marks & Spencer’s #SpendItWell
                                                                                                            • Nielsen Ad Intel coverage
                                                                                                            • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                              • School uniform drives spend
                                                                                                                • Discounters not widely used for back-to-school
                                                                                                                  • Product quality of top importance
                                                                                                                    • More money spent on Halloween than Bonfire Night
                                                                                                                      • Dads spend more on Bonfire Night
                                                                                                                        • Physical retail most popular way of purchasing for seasonal events
                                                                                                                          • Millennials interested in experiences
                                                                                                                            • People want to reuse Halloween items
                                                                                                                            • Purchasing for Back-to-school

                                                                                                                              • Nine in ten purchased back-to-school items before the start of school
                                                                                                                                • Figure 39: Products purchased for the start of the school term in autumn 2017, September 2017
                                                                                                                              • School uniform most popular item
                                                                                                                                • Rising spend on uniforms puts pressure on low-income families
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 40: Amount spent on products purchased for the start of the school term, September 2017
                                                                                                                                • Variety of items purchased
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 41: Repertoire of products purchased for the start of the school term in autumn 2017, September 2017
                                                                                                                                • Dads are more likely to purchase items last minute
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 42: How far in advance products are purchased for the start of the school term in autumn 2017, by gender, September 2017
                                                                                                                              • Where Back-to-school Items are Purchased

                                                                                                                                • Online retailing gaining importance
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 43: Channels used to purchase back-to-school items in autumn 2017, September 2017
                                                                                                                                • Supermarkets most popular for school items
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 44: Types of retailers used for purchasing items at the start of the autumn 2017 school term, September 2017
                                                                                                                                • Discounters not widely used
                                                                                                                                  • Age has a low impact on retailer choice
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 45: Types of retailers used for purchasing items at the start of the autumn 2017 school term, by age of children, September 2017
                                                                                                                                • Factors for Improvement – Back-to-school

                                                                                                                                  • Product quality is most important factor for parents
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 46: Improvement wanted for Back-to-school items, September 2017
                                                                                                                                  • Improvements in sizing wanted
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 47: M&S school uniform size and fit guide, 2018
                                                                                                                                • Purchasing for Halloween and Bonfire Night

                                                                                                                                  • More spent on Halloween
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 48: Spend on Halloween and Bonfire Night, November 2017
                                                                                                                                  • Parents of young children biggest-spending group
                                                                                                                                    • Young Millennials spend on Halloween
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 49: Spending on Halloween and Bonfire Night, by generation, November 2017
                                                                                                                                    • Dads outspend mums on Bonfire Night
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 50: Amount spent on Bonfire Night products, mothers vs fathers, November 2017
                                                                                                                                    • Opportunities for more spending occasions
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 51: Repertoire of expenditure for Halloween and Bonfire Night, November 2017
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 52: Halloween multibuy offers at Iceland, 2017
                                                                                                                                  • Retailers Purchased From – Halloween and Bonfire Night

                                                                                                                                    • Physical retail still most popular way of purchasing for events
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 53: Channels used to shop for Halloween and Bonfire Night products, November 2017
                                                                                                                                    • Supermarkets take most of the spend
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 54: Types of retailers purchased from for Halloween and Bonfire Night, November 2017
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 55: Ocado Bonfire Night food promotions, 2017
                                                                                                                                    • Amazon popular for Halloween products
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 56: Retailers purchased from for Halloween and Bonfire Night, November 2017
                                                                                                                                    • People unlikely to shop around for purchases
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 57: Repertoire of retailers used for Halloween and Bonfire Night, November 2017
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 58: Boohoo Halloween inspiration, 2017
                                                                                                                                  • Purchase Drivers for Halloween and Bonfire Night

                                                                                                                                    • Value for money most important factor
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 59: Purchase drivers for Halloween and Bonfire Night retailers, November 2017
                                                                                                                                    • Experiences and visual displays more appealing to younger consumers
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 60: Purchase drivers for Halloween and Bonfire Night retailers, by age, November 2017
                                                                                                                                  • Shopper Behaviour – Halloween and Bonfire Night

                                                                                                                                    • Consumers would like to reuse Halloween items
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 61: Behaviours towards Halloween, November 2017
                                                                                                                                    • Men more likely to make last-minute Halloween purchases
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 62: Seasonal shopping behaviours – CHAID – Tree output, November 2017
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 63: Seasonal shopping behaviours – CHAID – Table output, Halloween, November 2017
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 64: Seasonal shopping behaviours – CHAID – Table output, Bonfire Night, November 2017
                                                                                                                                    • Methodology
                                                                                                                                      • Weekend helps drive celebrations
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 65: Behaviours towards Bonfire Night, November 2017
                                                                                                                                      • Celebrations come with safety concerns
                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                          • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                            • Consumer research methodology

                                                                                                                                            Seasonal Shopping (Autumn/Winter) - UK - April 2018

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