Deloitte Christmas Survey 2017

When, where and how are UK consumers planning to shop this Christmas?

Following disappointing October sales figures, rising inflation and the first interest rate rise for more than 10 years, UK retailers will be holding their breath in the run up to Christmas.

UK consumers intend to spend an average of €614 this Christmas

The survey of 8,154 consumers across 10 European countries found that the UK’s consumers expect to spend 38% more than the European average (€445). In addition, the UK is the second highest spending market in Europe behind Spain (€632) and ahead of third place Italy (€528).

UK consumers intend to spend an average €614 each this Christmas, 1.8% more than 2016. The majority of spending will be dedicated to gifts (€321), followed by food and drink (€159), socialising (€71) and travel (€63).

The majority of spending will be on gifts

The UK spends more than any other European nation surveyed on gifts. The majority of UK consumers expect to receive chocolate this Christmas, followed by books, food & drink, cosmetics/perfume and money.

By contrast, most teenagers can expect to receive gifts of money, followed by computer games, books, chocolates and clothes/shoes. Most children under 12 can expect to receive books, followed by arts & crafts, clothes/shoes, educational toys and games this Christmas.

UK consumers are shopping increasingly early

November is fast becoming the key month for Christmas purchases for UK shoppers. Over 50% of consumers plan to do the majority on their Christmas shopping before December

UK shoppers are the most active online

UK consumers are by far the most active online spenders in Europe, and are planning to spend 142% more on gifts and 207% more on food and drink online than the European average. In addition, a fifth (21%) of consumers are planning to use digital wallets for their online spending.

Considering that the UK spends nearly £1bn a week online, it is not surprising to see such a disparity compared to the rest of the Continent. UK consumers are increasingly comfortable with making purchases online using their smartphones, tablets or laptop devices.

But the physical store still has a role to play…

62% of respondents indicated they will do some or all of their Christmas shopping in-store. Shoppers believe that traditional bricks and mortar retail still provides both the best shopping experience and after sale care available. Shoppers also believe that shopping in-store provides greater security around payments and personal data.

61% of shoppers expect their shopping experience to be improved by retail investment in lower prices. In order to satisfy shoppers and make the most out of the Christmas boom, retailers are also expected to invest in home delivery, exchange and return policies, adjusted opening hours and online stores.

Average spending this Christmas

Christmas budget composition 2017

A note on the methodology

The Deloitte European Christmas Survey 2017 was conducted between 6th – 17th October 2017. The survey was sent to 18 and 65 years old, chosen from a preexisting panel, based on sociodemographic characteristics, personal interests, income level and consumption behaviors.

In total, there were 8,154 respondents from ten participating countries.

Data responding to the UK was collected between 6th – 13th October 2013 and is based on a sample size of 782.

Further reading

Deloitte Consumer Tracker
Quarterly review of consumer confidence and spending behaviour.

Retail Trends
In 2017, retailers will need to focus on accelerating change in their businesses. We believe there are five key trends which will have significant impact over the next year.

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