Wednesday 26th October 2016                 Change text size:

UK Shopping Trends During The Christmas Season

xmas shopping Ben and Kaz Askins via FLickr

With Christmas fast approaching, the nation’s attention has turned to our finances and the spending we’re about to undertake. Many Brits admit to spending more than they can afford over the festive season, with credit cards, loans and picking up the strain. So what are we spending, and where is it going? And are we becoming more responsible with spending since the financial crisis first set in?

As per the research it is expected the average British households spend will cut down by 3-4% compared to last year, majority of this going on gifts. The study also found that almost two fifths of people were planning to pay for Christmas 2015 through their savings, but many had failed to save enough and were worried about the cost of Christmas as a result. For those people, credit cards, short-term loans and cutting other areas will make ends meet this Christmas.

Mintel’s recent data suggests that retail will grow by 2.5% in December 2015, so despite the growing cost, we’re still looking to make the festive season special for our loved ones. Making the pennies stretch a little further is more important than ever. is supporting UK shoppers this Christmas with over 23,000 active vouchers and hundreds of new offers added every day. When you’re looking to cut the cost of Christmas, make sure you take advantage of the deals and discounts out there.

Christmas shopping from home preferred by consumers

The high street’s popularity is fading as people start to choose the warmer, easier option of ordering online. Busy crowds, arguments over the last toy in the store and last-minute rushes to find the right gift are common features of the Christmas shopping experience – and now, all that stress can be avoided with home shopping. Adobe reports that Black Friday, a day of major deals and discounts, would see a projected online spend of £474 million by UK consumers.

Over half the participants of the survey said they planned to do most of their Christmas shopping online, and 23% of those will use their mobile or tablet to do their shopping. That’s a big change from just two years ago, when retailers like John Lewis and Schuh were noticing the rise of online shopping and starting to embrace online shopping fully, with a year-on-year rise of 18% in online sales across all retailers.

High street still popular with UK shoppers

However, there are still plenty of consumers out there who prefer physical shopping, so the high street can expect its usual boost. The Ideal Home Show and GoCompare found that 41% of people start their Christmas shopping on 30th October, reports International Business Times. With the festive shopping season well underway, stores can expect their visitors to increase. In 2014, some retailers found that the first UK Black Friday sales had led to slower sales in December, but in 2015 they will be prepared for this. Other businesses found that people choose click-and-collect services over postal deliveries – Debenhams states that last Christmas, 38% of orders were collected from the store by the customer.

Spending trends at Christmas

One of the big expenses at Christmas is children’s gifts, many parents report. The Mirror highlights Argos’ top toys this year, and finds that many are in the £39.99-£99.99 region. In addition to the latest toys, clothing and electronics spending is predicted to rise. Video gaming has made big advances this year and new games are expected in November, so Microsoft and Sony should expect an increase in console sales this December. For adults, electronics are the must-have gift of the season. The iPad is still very popular, with Microsoft’s tablet not far behind. Many adults say they will spend less on other adults this Christmas in order to treat the children instead.

Food and drink is another area of big spending at Christmas, accounting for 27.9% of UK households’ outgoings last year – according to Retail Research. Travel, decorations, party outfits and other expenses are far less noticeable costs compared to food and gifts, and if consumers need to cut back they tend to do so in these areas. This year, retailers are expecting to see a similar pattern in festive spending and are preparing for the increased demand across all areas.

Looking forward to the coming season

Although Black Friday is expected to hit retailers hard, shops will put their goods back to full price in the run-up to Christmas. However, there are other ways to stretch each pound at Christmas. The discounts, offers and deals available through will help make this a very happy Christmas indeed. With hundreds of deals available daily and new vouchers coming through all the time, you can cut costs at every corner and avoid those typical financial headaches the festive season brings. Online shopping is moving forward at every turn – relax and make gift shopping an enjoyable experience from the comfort of your own home.

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