Britons cut Xmas budgets but beauty products, vouchers high on buying list
Regardless of the negative effect that the latest English lockdown will have on festive season shopping, Britons had already planned to cut their Christmas shopping budgets by 6%, according to new research.
Beauty products are high on the list of gift-buying for 34% of consumers and, surprise, surprise, 20% of shoppers expect to double their online buying this year.
However, the research by the Fashion Retail Academy, which was conducted before the government’s announcement of a second lockdown for England, gave no clue of where fashion rates on consumers’ gift-buying lists.
A quarter of respondents (26.8%) said they would buy vouchers, despite the risk that retailers and other companies could go out of business, rendering the voucher unusable.
Average spend on presents will be £341, 6% lower than 2019. In terms of budgets, those aged 18-24 are expecting to spend £221, also 6% less than last year. Those aged 45-54 are prepared to commit £382 to gift-giving, 10% less than last year.
However, despite prevailing uncertainty about how Britons will spend Christmas this year, 63.7% have already started Christmas shopping, while 20% said they plan to wait until early December. Only 3% of consumers said they will wait until the week before Christmas.
Lee Lucas, principal of the Fashion Retail Academy, said: “Retailers desperately need a strong Christmas to make up for the decline in sales seen during the first lockdown in the spring.
“Our research, showing two thirds of shoppers will already have started their festive shopping in early November, spells good news for retailers in what is set to be one of the most difficult Christmas periods in decades".
He added: “It suggests shoppers are not waiting for Black Friday discounts and, instead, have decided to plan ahead and spread out their spending in anticipation of further disruption to come.
“However, the amount shoppers are planning to spend is down on last year. Financial pressures are impacting Christmas budgets across the country, with job security hanging by a thread for many. There’s also a lot of uncertainty about how much of a family Christmas we’re all going to be able to enjoy if lockdown measures are extended".
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