The overall festive budget is getting bigger as the UK plans a £16.5bn Christmas shopping spree, up by 2.5% on last year’s Christmas spending, according to research from e-commerce partner Webloyalty.
Indeed, despite retailers kick starting their Christmas advertising campaigns in November, over a third of the population won’t actually start their Christmas shop until December, with the average consumer looking to spend a total of £442 this Christmas.
17.6% of people plan to spend more on Christmas gifts this year, with the majority of gift-givers spending a total of £282.70 on presents, an increase of 3.5% on last year. However, 5.5% of the population will spend nothing at all.
More shoppers (56.3%) will buy gifts for their partners than their parents (34%), and more will buy gifts for friends (22.7%) than for their wider family (20.1%).
Four out of 10 consumers plan to use their mobiles to search for festive purchases. The average person is expected to spend 10 hours shopping for Christmas food and gifts online, up from 9 hours last year. This indicates that while more people are shopping online, they are spending far longer browsing due to the increased choice available.
The Christmas meal remains an intrinsic part of the festive celebrations. Over half of consumers (51.4%) will spend more than £150 on Christmas food and groceries. Despite its recent woes, Tesco still retains its leading position as 34.5% of consumers plan to use them for their Christmas shopping. However, nearly a quarter intend to use Aldi – highlighting the ongoing battle between the major supermarkets and discount stores.
Guy Chiswick, managing director of Webloyalty Northern Europe, said: “The Christmas shopping period is incredibly important to the UK economy. Looking through the research it is positive to see that Christmas spending is continuing to grow year on year. This is partly due to low inflation and heavy price competition within the grocery sector, which has eased some of the pressure on household finances in recent months and helped to boost consumer confidence. This increase in spending could make this Christmas the best for retailers since the recession.”