Press releases

UK Christmas budgets increase to £567, but self-gifting could see record Black Friday sales

18 November 2019

  • UK Christmas shopping budgets set to increase by £6, to £567, compared to last year and remain highest across Europe;
  • 34% of UK consumers plan to buy majority of presents in November with just 2% intending to make use of Black Friday discounting for gift-giving;
  • Despite increasing online sales through the year, 60% of UK consumers would prefer to shop for Christmas in-store.

UK consumers intend to spend an average of £567 each over the festive period, according to Deloitte’s 2019 European Christmas Survey. Total anticipated spend over Christmas is up 1.3% (from £560) compared to last year, despite this, UK shoppers remain the highest festive spenders in Europe this year, with the average European budget an anticipated €461 (£395).

The majority of UK shoppers’ budgets are set aside for presents (£299), followed by food and drink (£143), socialising (£63), and travelling (£62) over the party season.

Ian Geddes, North South Europe head of retail at Deloitte, comments: “UK consumers are entering the festive season in a cautious mood, with the average budget set to rise by a slender £6 compared to Christmas 2018. That said, economic fundamentals remain strong, with real wages high and unemployment low.

“Additionally, many consumers are refusing to have Christmas spirits dampened by Brexit fatigue, in the context of ongoing delays. Our survey reveals 44% will in fact spend more to enjoy the festive period and ‘avoid thinking about the macroeconomic environment’.”

To me, from me

Over a third of consumers intend to buy presents in November, making it a key month for Christmas spending. The most popular presents to gift this year include chocolates (50%), books (42%) and cosmetics and perfumes (38%).

Geddes states: “The retail Golden Quarter will be punctuated by sales in November as we anticipate consumers to seek out the majority of Christmas gifts this month. However, consumers may not necessarily be lured in by early discounting, or special promotional shopping days, alone.”

According to Deloitte’s survey findings, just 2% of consumers intend to buy the majority of gift purchases on Black Friday, or on any other special shopping dates in the run up to Christmas. However, it could prove a key date for self-gifting.

Geddes continues: “For many people this year, Black Friday coincides with payday which could see record sales for retailers as a result. Whilst November as a whole will be a very busy shopping month for purchasing presents, few consumers intend to take advantage of Black Friday discounting for Christmas shopping. Instead, we anticipate consumers will use promotional shopping days to treat themselves.”

Experience is everything

Online sales have continued to grow this year as consumers increasingly prefer the convenience of shopping via mobile and computer devices, and the option of home delivery. Whilst consumers may browse social media channels for gift inspiration or price comparisons, for example, 60% still intend to hit the high street for their Christmas shopping.

Geddes, said: “As we can see from our research, stores will still play an important role and getting the in-store experience right could hold the key for retailers this Golden Quarter. For some, that will be about convenience and value. For others, the focus will be on capturing the magic of Christmas in-store to attract the greatest share of wallet.”


Notes to editors

About the research
Fieldwork for the 2019 Deloitte European Christmas Survey took place between 16th September and 11th October 2019. The online survey of 7,190 people aged 18 to 65 had a nationally representative sample across eight countries, including the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Poland, Portugal, and Russia.

The UK section of the survey represents 803 UK adults.

About Deloitte
In this press release references to “Deloitte” are references to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”) a UK private company limited by guarantee, and its network of member firms, each of which is a legally separate and independent entity.

Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of DTTL and its member firms.

Deloitte LLP is a subsidiary of Deloitte NSE LLP, which is a member firm of DTTL, and is among the UK's leading professional services firms.

The information contained in this press release is correct at the time of going to press.

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