(PRWEB) February 03, 2012
With the UK braced for sub-zero temperatures and bouts of ice, snow and rain this week, cash-savvy customers have been buying items to keep them warm, without having to crank up the heating and spend a fortune on gas bills, says department store Debenhams.
Shoppers have been preparing for the end of the so-far mild British winter by snapping up thermal underwear (+17%), cosy slippers (+49%) and thick woolly pyjamas (+16%).
The most surprising item in shoppers’ baskets this weekend however, was skimpy swimsuits and bikinis (+18%). Sales of these summer items have soared in recent weeks, despite temperatures dropping below freezing in many parts of the country.
Says Debenhams spokesperson Ed Watson: “With the cost of heating and lighting the average home now exceeding £1,200 a year, our customers are being clever in their tactics to keep warm before they turn up the heat - and their monthly bills.
“It’s bizarre that this freezing cold weather has had such a positive effect on swim sales – the last thing you would think people would be buying was swimwear!”
When questioned, nearly half of customers (44%) admitted they would rather layer up to keep cosy and warm than turn up the thermostat, which would result in a hefty gas or electric bill increase.
Other items flying off shelves as customers chill-proof their homes and family include the highest tog duvets (+40%), electric blankets (+165%) and other thick woolly layering items.
Continues Ed Watson: “We have made sure that our stores are fully stocked and equipped to meet the demand from customers for these cold weather and swim items, and moved stock around the country in line with the coldest regions to ensure shoppers can find what they are looking for.
“With the average household bill doubling in just six years, families are investing in smart items to keep them warm and last for longer, and can be used each winter.
Hats (+149%), gloves (+30%) and scarves (+26%) flew of shelves over the weekend, as did sales of hot drinks flasks (+20%), as commuters and parents on the school run look to wrap up and keep warm ahead of this week’s Siberian chill.