13 million Brits have started their Christmas shopping


It’s 100 days to Christmas on 16 September and Santa’s sack is already filling up as 24% of Brits – equating to 13 million across the UK have started their festive shopping for 2019 according to research from American Express.

The study also found Santa’s helpers started shopping early because they are able pick up presents when they see something that catches their eye (51%) or because they want to avoid a big spending spree in the run up to Christmas. (43%). Approximately two in five (41%) savvy spenders buy gifts during the year to make the most of discounts and offers.

However, it’s not just the gift-givers that are thinking about what is going to go under the tree this year. Nearly five million Brits admit to having already handed out their gift lists to friends and family.

For the shoppers who are yet to think about turkeys and tinsel, over half (52%) say it’s too early to start thinking about the festive period while 19% are waiting for the sales before they begin spending.

Stephen Steinhardt, director at American Express, said: “For a significant number people across the UK the countdown to Christmas has already begun. If you are starting your Christmas shopping, consider putting your spend on a card that gives you cashback or rewards. This means that you’ll be getting something back on your spending, which you can then redeem to treat yourself in the New Year.”

American Express offers the following top tips for early bird elves:

  1. Start dropping hints – If you would like to begin your Christmas shopping but are stuck for ideas, start dropping hints to loved ones now to find out what they might like. They may forget items they have mentioned they want by the time 25 December arrives so you can truly surprise them.
  2. Sign up to sales newsletters – to grab a bargain, be first to the sales. Sign up to newsletters from your favourite shops and follow the brands you love on social media so you can be the first to know about when their sales begin or when they have special offers on.
  3. Not just about gifts – Start thinking about non-perishable food and drinks that you could purchase now in the run up to Christmas. Boxes of chocolates and tins of sweets may be cheaper now before the Christmas decorations are in the shops.
  4. Check rewards and points – make sure to total up the rewards you have earned throughout the year and consider putting these towards your Christmas shop.
  5. Watch out for Shop Small – American Express Cardmembers can earn cashback when spending at participating local independent retailers, during the American Express Shop Small campaign in early December.