Nov 7, 2022
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British consumers plan thrifty Christmas - Deloitte study

Nov 7, 2022

UK consumers are — unsurprisingly — planning a “thrifty” Christmas with as many as 59% saying they’ll have less to spend this year. But the contradiction here is that while almost two out of three people will have less available to spend, as many as half of those surveyed by Deloitte have accepted that they're going to have to spend more than they want to or usually do.

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Consumers indicate that they’ll look for “smarter ways to save on festive gift expenditure, with one in 10 looking to buy secondhand, two in five either seeking sale or discounted items, and another two in five planning to switch to cheaper brands or stores”.

And a sizeable minority (one in 10 people) are going to avoid buying gifts altogether. 

Deloitte spoke to over 3,000 UK consumers about their spending intentions for the retail sector’s ‘Golden Quarter’, and 38% plan to switch to cheaper brands or stores to seek out gifts.

And with 35% planning to do at least part of their food shop at a discounter supermarket, it means that they'll be spending less time in the big four supermarkets, as well as in food stores such as M&S and Waitrose, which also means they'll have less exposure to the non-food products those retailers are selling.

As mentioned, plenty of people (11%) will be looking for gifts that are secondhand this year and will be checking out reselling platforms.

Some 54% of consumers intend to shop for Christmas in November and the first two weeks of December, a period that includes Black Friday. A hefty 46% of consumers say they intend to buy more gifts either on sale or discounted this year.

And despite having less cash available to spend, 56% believe they’ll be spending more because of rising prices. 

Oliver Vernon-Harcourt, head of retail at Deloitte, said: “Consumers are entering the festive season with budgets under more pressure. The economic circumstances in which we enter the period has, perhaps inadvertently, fostered a spirit of thrift amongst some consumers who are looking to save money on celebrations this year.”

Céline Fenech, consumer insight lead at Deloitte, added: “Whilst it is not unusual for consumers to look for discounts in the run up to Christmas, this year’s shopping events, like Black Friday, could see even more interest than usual as budget-conscious consumers look for smarter ways to bring down the cost of their Christmas spending.”

But Fenech also said: “Some consumers have indicated that they will shop closer to Christmas Day to not only manage budgets but also take advantage of any discounts. For retailers, this will mean ensuring availability of product ranges to suit all budgets and include more ‘gift’ items within promotional ranges, expanding on the clothing and footwear, and electronic goods that are usually purchased during Black Friday events.”

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