UK consumers to spend a bit more in-store this Christmas says Deloitte

today Nov 19, 2019
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We’re constantly being told that UK shoppers are spending less, but it seems that they're actually going to spend more overall this Christmas, although the increase won't be large.

Christmas shoppers will head to physical shops this year

That's according to a new report on projected Christmas spending from Deloitte. The analysts at the company said UK consumers will spend an average of £6 more this year and it's interesting, given the fast move online, that most would prefer to buy their gifts and other Christmas provisions in physical shops.

The company’s annual Christmas survey of more than 800 people said that shopping budgets in Britain will rise 1.3%, or by that £6, to £567. This is much higher than the average budget in mainland Europe, which is €461 (£395). However it can't have escaped anyone's notice that the 1.3% increase undershoots the current inflation rate so actually represents a real-terms decline.

Of the overall £567 spend in the UK, most of it (£299) will go towards gifts, £143 for food and drink, £63 for socialising and a fairly hefty £62 for travelling.

As mentioned, physical shops remain the most popular destination for consumer cash with 60% of them saying they plan to buy presents in-store. Some 41% will spend their money primarily or additionally online and 27% will choose click & collect as their delivery method.

And as a sign of the way the British Christmas shopping season has shifted in recent years, more than a third of consumers (actually 34%) will buy most of their gifts during November, rather than December, which was the biggest shopping month less than a decade ago. But that's not because they'll be taking advantage of Black Friday promotions. Interestingly, only a tiny 2% claim that Black Friday will be key for most of their spending.

It all suggests a group of consumers who are cautious and bargain-focused, but not ready to be rushed into anything by "grab it now" online deals.

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