At this time of year, with Christmas fast approaching and retailers worrying more and more about shifting their inventory sitting on shop shelves, we can play a game of retail chicken – we the consumers need to buy Christmas presents before Christmas, while the retailers are increasingly worried that they will be stuck with lots of unsold goods post December 25. Who blinks first?

Generally, shops tend to lose this game and discount goods to reduce inventories, increasingly offering discounts even before Christmas to reduce their risk of having to offer even larger discounts in the January sales. Which of course is good news for those of us who wait until the last minute to complete our present buying! This year looks likely to be a good one for last-minute bargain hunters, particularly in electronics and clothing.

For cheaper online purchases, I would recommend looking at discount voucher websites such as and

Alternatively, consider snapping up good value shares in retailers such as Next and Home Retail, in advance of potentially upbeat January trading statements.