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Seasonal Shopping (Autumn/Winter) - UK - April 2019

Covered in this report

This report focuses on four of the major annual retail events that fall in the Autumn/Winter months: Back-to-School, Halloween, Bonfire Night and Valentine’s Day.

Although we discuss Black Friday and Christmas in some sections to give context to the wider seasonal shopping market, these two events are not included in the scope of this Report, and are therefore excluded from the market size and consumer research. More detailed research on Black Friday and Christmas can be found in Mintel’s Christmas Gift Buying – UK, February 2019 Report.

The market size for this report covers the four major annual retail events that fall in the Autumn/Winter months (excluding Black Friday and Christmas): Back-to-School, Halloween, Bonfire Night and Valentine’s Day.

All market sizes exclude spending on leisure activities, but estimates for this kind of spending have also been made wherever appropriate to give more context to the wider market and changes in consumer behaviour.

“The recent performance of seasonal retail sales illustrates how susceptible these events are to macroeconomic changes. Following strong growth in consumer spending throughout 2018, with Valentine’s Day, Halloween and Bonfire Night all witnessing a significant uplift in consumer expenditure last year, the outlook appears to be more challenging. Consumers cut back Valentine’s Day spending in 2019, likely due in part to the ongoing political uncertainty in the UK, and there is a possibility that this trend could well continue throughout 2019, which will make the seasonal retail market highly competitive going forward.”
– Samantha Dover, Senior Retail Analyst

This report looks at the following areas:

  • Sustainability comes to the forefront
  • Value for money becomes a priority

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

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

          • The market
            • Consumers spend £3.3 billion on seasonal events
              • Figure 1: Estimated consumer spending on the Autumn/Winter retail events, 2017/18 and 2018/19
            • Retail sales slowed in the final quarter
              • Figure 2: Annual percentage change in all retail sales (excluding fuel) at current prices, non-seasonally adjusted, by month, 2017 and 2018
            • November online sales increasingly important
              • Figure 3: Value of all online retail sales at current prices, non-seasonally adjusted, by month, 2017 and 2018
            • Companies and brands
              • Total advertising spend up 2.5% in 2018
                • Pop-up stores capitalise on the Halloween spirit
                  • The year of the discount engagement ring
                    • The consumer
                      • Prolific back-to-school purchasing
                        • Figure 4: Back-to-school purchasing, September 2018
                      • One in five self-gift for Valentine’s Day
                        • Figure 5: Gift purchasing for Valentine’s Day, 2018 and 2019
                      • Popularity of Halloween is growing but so are concerns
                        • Figure 6: Spending on Halloween, 2017 and 2018
                      • More consumers are celebrating Bonfire Night at home
                        • Figure 7: Spending on Bonfire Night, 2017 and 2018
                    • Issues and Insights

                      • Sustainability comes to the forefront
                        • The facts
                          • The implications
                            • Value for money becomes a priority
                              • The facts
                                • The implications
                                • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                  • Demand for seasonal products robust in 2018
                                    • Brexit begins to dampen consumer confidence
                                      • Autumn maintains greatest share of retail sales
                                        • Online penetration peaks in November
                                        • Market Sizes

                                          • Seasonal spending could fall in 2019
                                            • Figure 8: Estimated consumer spending on the Autumn/Winter retail events, 2017/18 and 2018/19
                                          • Back-to-school market boosted by non-clothing
                                            • Figure 9: Estimated breakdown of consumer spending on back-to-school products, 2018
                                            • Figure 10: Estimated breakdown of consumer spending on back-to-school products, 2016-18
                                          • Fewer consumers spending money on Halloween events
                                            • Figure 11: Estimated breakdown of consumer spending on Halloween products, 2018
                                            • Figure 12: Estimated breakdown of consumer spending on Halloween products and events, 2017 and 2018
                                          • More people celebrating Bonfire Night at home
                                            • Figure 13: Estimated breakdown of consumer spending on Bonfire Night products, 2018
                                            • Figure 14: Estimated breakdown of consumer spending on Bonfire Night products and events, 2017 and 2018
                                          • Consumers cut back on Valentine’s Day gifts
                                            • Figure 15: Estimated breakdown of consumer spending on Valentine’s Day products, 2018
                                            • Figure 16: Estimated breakdown of consumer spending on Valentine’s Day products and experiences, 2018 and 2019
                                        • Retail Sales

                                          • Autumn maintains greatest share of retail spend
                                            • Figure 17: Value of all retail sales (excluding fuel) at current prices, non-seasonally adjusted, by season, 2018
                                          • By month, December continues to dominate
                                            • Figure 18: Value of all retail sales (excluding fuel) at current prices, non-seasonally adjusted, by month, 2017 and 2018
                                          • The leading categories
                                            • Figure 19: Value of leading category retail sales at current prices, non-seasonally adjusted, by month, 2017 and 2018
                                          • Retail sales slowed in the final quarter
                                            • Figure 20: Annual percentage change in all retail sales (excluding fuel) at current prices, non-seasonally adjusted, by month, 2017 and 2018
                                          • Household goods enjoy a strong year
                                            • Figure 21: Annual percentage change in leading category retail sales at current prices, non-seasonally adjusted, by month, 2018
                                        • Online Retail Sales

                                          • Online share peaks in November
                                            • Figure 22: Online retail sales as a percentage of all retail sales, by month, 2017 and 2018
                                          • November also increasingly important in value terms
                                            • Figure 23: Value of all online retail sales at current prices, non-seasonally adjusted, by month, 2017 and 2018
                                          • Online growth spikes in May
                                            • Figure 24: Annual percentage change in all online retail sales at current prices, non-seasonally adjusted, by month, 2018
                                          • Clothing and footwear is the strongest online performer
                                            • Figure 25: Online retail sales as a percentage of all retail sales, by category, monthly, 2017 and 2018
                                        • Market Drivers

                                          • Real wages grow throughout 2018
                                            • Figure 26: Real wage growth – Average weekly earnings vs inflation, January 2014-December 2018
                                          • Brexit continues to create uncertainty
                                            • Figure 27: How consumers think Brexit will impact the UK economy, January 2019
                                          • Signals that consumers are adopting more cautious spending habits
                                            • Figure 28: Trends in what extra money is spent on, 2018 and 2019
                                          • Ongoing changes in the age structure of the population
                                            • Figure 29: Trends in the age structure of the UK population, 2016-26
                                            • Figure 30: Trends in the age structure of the UK population, 2016-26
                                          • The shift online impacts the high street
                                            • Figure 31: Change in UK retail footfall, by location, January 2016-December 2018
                                        • Black Friday and Christmas

                                          • Retail sales during the festive period rise 2.1%
                                            • Black Friday continues to boost spending in November
                                            • Brands and Companies – What You Need to Know

                                              • Retailers spent more on advertising in 2018
                                                • Back-to-school price competition intensifies
                                                  • Beauty fast becoming a core seasonal category
                                                    • Retailers focus on experiences to drive sales
                                                    • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                      • Valentine’s Day
                                                        • Romantic meal for two at IKEA, pasty-focused meal at Greggs and discount engagement rings
                                                          • Selfridges Lip Bar to help those looking for love
                                                            • Back-to-school
                                                              • Lidl launches super-affordable school uniform range
                                                                • Poundland positions itself as a one-stop back-to-school shop
                                                                  • Halloween
                                                                    • Pop-up stores capitalising on the Halloween spirit
                                                                      • Halloween Beauty Party
                                                                        • Spooktacular-themed beauty products from Lush
                                                                          • Christmas
                                                                            • Jingle Brow pop-up
                                                                              • Tiffany brings the festive season to life with immersive sensory experience
                                                                                • Using Christmas to make a positive environmental impact
                                                                                  • Giving something back
                                                                                    • Supermarket car park festive makeover
                                                                                    • Advertising and Marketing Activity

                                                                                        • Advertising expenditure peaks around Bonfire Night and Black Friday
                                                                                          • Figure 32: Recorded advertising expenditure by all retailers, by month, 2017 and 2018
                                                                                        • Advertising spend concentrated in the final quarter of the year
                                                                                          • Figure 33: Recorded advertising expenditure by all retailers, by quarter, as % of total spending, 2017 and 2018
                                                                                        • Total advertising spend up 2.5% in 2018
                                                                                          • Figure 34: Recorded advertising expenditure by all retailers, by month, 2017 and 2018
                                                                                        • TV share of advertising spend down year on year
                                                                                          • Figure 35: Recorded advertising expenditure by all retailers, by media type, as a % of total spending, 2017 and 2018
                                                                                        • Digital advertising spend up year on year in 2018
                                                                                          • Figure 36: Recorded advertising expenditure by all retailers, by media type, 2017 and 2018
                                                                                        • Back-to-school campaigns
                                                                                          • Halloween campaigns
                                                                                            • Christmas campaigns
                                                                                              • Valentine’s Day campaigns
                                                                                              • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                • Back-to-school shoppers want quality and convenience
                                                                                                  • Ethical and health concerns regarding Halloween are apparent
                                                                                                    • Bonfire Night is an integral part of British culture
                                                                                                      • Consumers are tired of stereotypical Valentine’s Day gifts
                                                                                                      • Back-to-School

                                                                                                        • Prolific purchasing for the new school year
                                                                                                          • Figure 37: Back-to-school purchasing, September 2018
                                                                                                        • An expensive affair for parents
                                                                                                          • Figure 38: Average amount spent on back-to-school items, September 2018
                                                                                                          • Figure 39: Average amount spent on back-to-school items, 2016-18
                                                                                                        • Most still shop in-store
                                                                                                          • Figure 40: How they shopped for back-to-school items, September 2018
                                                                                                        • Supermarkets remain popular…
                                                                                                          • Figure 41: Where they shopped for back-to-school items, September 2018
                                                                                                        • …and despite their value proposition are where parents spend the most
                                                                                                          • Figure 42: Where they spent the most on back-to-school items, September 2018
                                                                                                        • Quality is a driving force in where they choose to shop
                                                                                                          • Figure 43: Important factors when choosing where to shop for back-to-school items, September 2018
                                                                                                        • Half of parents spent more in 2018
                                                                                                          • Figure 44: Back-to-school shopping behaviour, September 2018
                                                                                                        • A demand for everything in one place
                                                                                                          • Figure 45: Attitudes towards shopping for back-to-school items, September 2018
                                                                                                      • Halloween

                                                                                                        • Just under half spent money on the event
                                                                                                          • Figure 46: Spending on Halloween, 2017 and 2018
                                                                                                        • Average spend increases
                                                                                                          • Figure 47: Average amount spent on products for Halloween, 2017 and 2018
                                                                                                        • Physical retail is still preferred by the majority
                                                                                                          • Figure 48: How they shopped for Halloween and Bonfire Night products, 2017 and 2018
                                                                                                        • Supermarkets take the majority of spend
                                                                                                          • Figure 49: Where they shopped for Halloween products, November 2018
                                                                                                        • Carving a pumpkin a firm tradition
                                                                                                          • Figure 50: What activities they did to celebrate Halloween and Bonfire Night, November 2018
                                                                                                        • Popularity of Halloween is growing but so are concerns
                                                                                                          • Over half value social media for inspiration
                                                                                                            • Figure 51: Attitudes towards Halloween, November 2018
                                                                                                        • Bonfire Night

                                                                                                          • Purchasing for Bonfire Night decreases…
                                                                                                            • Figure 52: Spending on Bonfire Night, 2017 and 2018
                                                                                                          • …but those purchasing products are spending more
                                                                                                            • Figure 53: Average amount spent on products for Bonfire Night, 2017 and 2018
                                                                                                          • In-store purchasing remains the most popular
                                                                                                            • Figure 54: How they shopped for Halloween and Bonfire Night products, 2017 and 2018
                                                                                                          • Grocers dominate in-store purchasing
                                                                                                            • Figure 55: Where they shopped for Bonfire Night products, November 2018
                                                                                                          • Fireworks still a firm tradition
                                                                                                            • Figure 56: What activities they did to celebrate Halloween and Bonfire Night, November 2018
                                                                                                          • Bonfire Night is part of British culture
                                                                                                            • Figure 57: Attitudes towards Bonfire Night, November 2018
                                                                                                        • Valentine’s Day

                                                                                                          • Most celebrate with their partner
                                                                                                            • Figure 58: Who they celebrated Valentine’s Day with, February 2019
                                                                                                          • Confectionery most purchased gift
                                                                                                            • Figure 59: Gift purchasing for Valentine’s Day, 2018 and 2019
                                                                                                          • More consumers are celebrating with experiences
                                                                                                            • Figure 60: Activity spending for Valentine’s Day, 2018 and 2019
                                                                                                          • One in five self-gift
                                                                                                            • Figure 61: Who they spent money on for Valentine’s Day, February 2019
                                                                                                          • Dramatic decline in spending
                                                                                                            • Figure 62: Average amount spent on gifts and activities for Valentine’s Day, 2018 and 2019
                                                                                                          • Last-minute shoppers
                                                                                                            • Figure 63: When consumers started planning Valentine’s Day, February 2019
                                                                                                          • Fatigue with stereotypical gifts
                                                                                                            • Figure 64: Attitudes towards Valentine’s Day, February 2019
                                                                                                        • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                            • Abbreviations
                                                                                                              • Consumer research methodology
                                                                                                                • Additional consumer data
                                                                                                                  • Back-to-school
                                                                                                                    • Figure 65: Important factors when choosing where to shop for back-to-school, by where they shopped for back to school items, September 2018
                                                                                                                  • Valentine’s Day
                                                                                                                    • Figure 66: Gift purchasing for Valentine's Day, by who they spent money on, February 2019

                                                                                                                Seasonal Shopping (Autumn/Winter) - UK - April 2019

                                                                                                                £2,195.00 (Excl.Tax)