UK retailers offload Christmas trees for $1 or less after overstocking

UK retailers offload Christmas trees for $1 or less after overstocking

by Pranali Mehta

Major retailers across the UK are reportedly offloading Christmas trees for £1 ($1.3) or less as shoppers are shying away from visiting high streets as well as retail centers over concerns about the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

Home improvement retail company B&Q has cut the prices of the freshly cut trees it offers to £1 ($1.3) which usually costs around £49 ($65) or more. A shopper had posted a picture of trees with prices as less as 10p (13c) in the retailer’s Abingdon, Oxfordshire store on social media.

Another home improvement retailer, Homebase, slashed the prices of its fresh trees to £5 ($6.6) when only a week ago it had reduced the prices to £10 ($13). Some of its stores even had the prices cut to £3.50 ($4.6).

Industry insiders have suggested that this may be because these major chains might have overstocked on Christmas trees as a precaution to what happened last year, wherein a majority were completely sold out two weeks before the festival.

Iain Wylie, Chief Executive at The Garden Centre Association, has stated that Christmas-related trade has been affected in some areas due to the fear of Omicron among shoppers, adding that retailers will have to sell trees at discounted prices in order to clear their stock.

Meanwhile, retailers in central London, as well as other city centers, have also been hit due to overstocking amidst a declining number of visitors, especially during the peak shopping weekend of the year.

As per the latest data by Springboard, a shopper counting service in the UK, a 2.6 percent decline has been noted in shoppers across retail parks, high streets, and shopping centers, from the previous week.

New West End Company, which represents numerous businesses operating on central London shopping streets, including Oxford Street, has reported that the number of visitors over the weekend has fallen by 5 percent from the previous week.

Jace Tyrrell, Chief Executive of New West End Company, has called on the government to provide financial support, such as business rate relief and grants, to avoid closures in the retail and leisure sector.

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Pranali Mehta

A chemical engineer by qualification, Pranali Mehta dutifully walked down the slated path and worked in a chemical firm for a year. Her passion for writing however, pushed her into experimenting with the same as a career. With over three years of experience in content writ Read more...