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UK Consumers plan “thrifty Christmas” as over half say they’ll have less to spend

Tom Bottomley
07 November 2022

Over half (59%) of UK consumers plan to have a more thrifty Christmas this year as they will have less money to spend overall amid the cost of living crisis, according to new research from professional services firm Deloitte.

Surveying over 3,000 UK consumers about their spending intentions for the retail sector’s ‘Golden Quarter’, 38% of respondents say they will switch to cheaper brands or stores to seek out gifts.

With rising costs adding pressure to budgets, over one in ten (11%) of consumers intend to purchase gifts either second hand or via reselling platforms this year and, with large promotional events fast approaching such as Black Friday, nearly half (46%) of consumers say they intend to buy more gifts either on sale or discounted this year.

While many consumers are looking to be more resourceful with budgets, 8% also stated they will simply not buy Christmas gifts this year. Additionally, over half (56%) of consumers believe they will be spending more this Christmas because of rising prices.

Oliver Vernon-Harcourt, Head of Retail at Deloitte, said: “Consumers are entering the festive season with budgets under more pressure this year, and it is not surprising that almost all are considering affordability and adapting their typical Christmas spending habits in one way or another.

“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.

“For some, this will mean looking to the ‘pre-loved’ market for gifts or scouting out presents via resellers. For others, this could mean shopping with cheaper stores or brands.”

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.

“Some consumers have also 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.”

The Deloitte Consumer Tracker is based on a consumer survey carried out by independent market research agency, YouGov, on Deloitte’s behalf. The survey was conducted online with a nationally representative sample of 3,226 consumers in the UK aged 18-plus between 17 - 18 September 2022.

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