Poor stock control led to 23.86 million missed sales at Christmas, according to a study by software house Aldata.
Some 13 per cent of shoppers abandoned plans to buy items rather than accept a substitute when their preferred shop ran out of stock.
The study, covering more than 1,000 UK consumers, revealed that 26 per cent of shoppers were unable to purchase a desired item from their preferred store this Christmas indicating that many retailers struggled to accurately forecast demand and keep customers happy.
Mark Croxton, vice president of customer support at Aldata said: “During peak holiday shopping periods it goes without saying that some consumers will have to settle for a substitute item as stock runs low. However, I am amazed to see that 13 per cent of respondents decided to give up altogether.”
The survey also found that 16 to 34 year olds were least tolerant towards poor stock levels, with 16 per cent of respondents in this age bracket admitting that they were unwilling to accept another item or shop around, whereas 14 per cent of shoppers aged 55 and over said they would look elsewhere to complete their list.
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