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‘Tis the season to be savvy: 17 million Brits start their Christmas shopping with 100 days to go


The 100-day countdown to Christmas has begun and new research from American Express (NYSE: AXP) reveals ‘tis the season to be savvy as nearly a third (32%) of British adults have already started their festive shopping for 2020, equating to nearly 17 million* eager elves across the nation.

Approximately two fifths (41%) of Brits have started their Christmas shopping earlier than previous years. The annual study found keeping costs down is the main reason for Brits shopping in advance. Four in 10 are stuffing their stockings with sales items to cut costs and almost a third (31%) of people are making use of deals and offers.

As a nation of prepared present givers, early seasonal shoppers have spent an average of £69 each, with the most common items bought being gifts (69%), followed by cards (33%) and wrapping paper (24%).

Top five festive items shoppers have bought

Item - Percentage of shoppers

Gifts - 69%

Christmas cards - 33%

Wrapping paper - 24%

Christmas jumpers 0 19%

Decorations - 19%

The impact of COVID-19 is also influencing festive budgets. While the majority (60%) plan to spend the same on Christmas compared to previous years, over a quarter (28%) will spend less and 12% will splash out more this year.

American Express offers the following top tips for thrifty seasonal shoppers:

  1. Deals and offers – Stay up to date with the latest deals and offers by signing up to retailer newsletters and following your favourite brands on social media.
  2. Get personal – Add a personal touch to your Christmas gifting this year by creating goody bags of your loved ones’ favourite items. The time and effort will add that extra bit of magic!
  3. Earn points and rewards – Earn points on festive goods when spending by putting purchases on a card that earns points, rewards or cashback.
  4. DIY decorations – Search online for creative ideas to make homemade decorations, whether it’s spraying some branches you’ve collected with gold glitter or getting the kids involved to make baubles for the tree, you can make your decorations unique and fun this year if you want a creative project.
  5. Check rewards and points – Make sure to check how many rewards you have earned throughout the year on credit and charge cards, and consider putting these towards your Christmas shop to cut your costs.
  6. Get friendly with your local retailers – Local retailers and shopkeepers offer a wealth of knowledge about popular presents and can help with finding that perfect gift. Check out your local high street for independent retailers and bespoke products.


* 52,673,000 adults currently live in the UK (ONS), of which 32% will have started Christmas shopping by September 2020 = 16,855,360

Omnibus research was conducted by Opinium, 2,000 nationally representative adults were surveyed between 11 and 13 August 2020.


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