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Retail news round-up: Influencers, rude customers and the worst Christmas presents

Most shoppers do not trust social media influencers, a survey has indicated. In the research for BBC Radio 4’s You and Yours, 82% of people who took part said it was not always clear when an influencer had been paid to promote a product. The Advertising Standards Authority has launched new guidelines to help influencers stick to the rules. The BBC survey found that 54% of 18-to-34-year-old beauty buyers were influenced by their suggestions.

Rude customers and panic buyers were the chief causes of stress for UK shop staff during the festive sales rush, according to research by analytics firm Adorebaord. As shoppers looked forward to hunting down traditional Boxing Day bargains, retail workers were filled with apprehension and worry, according to the poll of nearly 1,500 UK workers in customer service roles. Only one in four said the post-Christmas sales put them in a good mood, and more than half of those who responded believed their mood and personal feelings affected the customers they served.

Rude customers were the chief source of stress for shop staff, with 70% of respondents saying bad manners were most likely to put them in a foul mood. Long queues and panic shoppers were the two other main causes of concern.

Millennials are the most likely generation to have received a gift they didn’t like at Christmas, according to new research from Which? In 2018 the consumer champion asked nearly 2,000 members of the public about the presents they were given the previous Christmas. One in four of those who had received gifts said they were unhappy with one or more of them. And almost four in 10 millennials said they unwrapped ones they didn’t like. Those aged 55 and over seemed most content, with only on in five saying they received an unwanted present.

Greg Clark, the Business Secretary, has said that a White Paper this year will lay out plans to protect shoppers who have pre-paid for products when a business fails. The proposals include guarantees for savings in Christmas savings clubs and could also cover unspent gift vouchers and internet orders which remain undelivered by the time a business goes bust.

Which? also asked its members about the worst presents they had been given. Answers included a packet of sanitary towels, an out of date gift voucher, a pineapple cutting machine and a hand-knitted willy-warmer. Londoners were the most likely to try and get a replacement or refund from the gift-giver for an unwanted present.

Alan Monahan