In Selecting Christmas Presents, Consumers Try to Combine Pleasure with Usefulness for the Best Price

Bratislava, 29 November 2013 – Consumers continue to give more weight to purchasing useful Christmas presents for the best price possible. In this respect, the majority of consumers (83%) in Europe are purchasing discounted presents this year compared with 65% last year. The average household in Europe spends approximately EUR 260 on presents.

Presents are purchased in November by the majority of people (40%), in the first half of December by 28%, and at the last minute, ie approximately a week before Christmas, by only 15% of European consumers.

European households have about the same budget as they did last year, with some countries (especially Poland, the Czech Republic and Germany) having a tighter budget and with mainly Southern Europeans spending more this year.

European households are to spend approximately EUR 450 on Christmas in 2013; more specifically, they will spend EUR 236 on presents, EUR 154 on food and drink and EUR 60 on social activities, such as theatre, cinema and Christmas concerts.

Europeans are not willing to finance their Christmas shopping by loans. They prefer savings and accumulated loyalty points. Caution and concerns about the future continue to prevail among consumers, although macroeconomic figures reflect a gradual boost in the economy, including a moderate growth in the consumption of households.

This is one of the reasons why online shopping continues to grow; eg online purchases in Germany account for 50% of all purchases.

Online shopping is preceded by the search for presents and comparison of prices and it is preferred by three consumers out of every four surveyed.
As regards brick-and-mortar shops, Europeans prefer purchasing presents in department stores, specialised shops, hypermarkets and supermarkets.

Since 2008, the most desired present in Europe has been money. Traditionally, books and clothes are among the top three presents, although the popularity of books is slightly decreasing.

Out of 18 European countries that participated in the survey, books are the most often purchased presents in 11 countries and the second most often purchased presents in another 11 countries .
In Slovakia, books appear under almost every second Christmas tree and they are followed by cosmetics and clothes.

Europeans like to buy presents using loyalty or discount programmes. In most countries, except for Germany, the main motivator is the use of instant discounts followed by the collection of points to be used to select presents.

Despite the fact that gift vouchers are not listed among the top ten presents that the surveyed respondents would like to find under their Christmas trees, consumers will buy them for their close relatives, especially as an alternative to money. However, the value of gift vouchers decreases each year and amounts to EUR 43 on average.

The 17th Deloitte survey on the plans of European consumers regarding Christmas shopping at the end of the year includes 18 European countries and South Africa (Slovakia did not participate this year). Data were collected in the second and third week of September 2013 and come from a wide representative sample of respondents (17 354 consumers in total).

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© 2013 Deloitte Slovakia

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