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Brits Have Already Spent £1.7 Billion Shopping for The Festive Period

Festive shopping
Festive shopping

Today marks 100 days until Christmas, and new research1 from American Express has found that Brits have already spent £1.7 billion on the festive season this year2.
15.8 million Brits, or approximately a third (30%) of UK adults who celebrate or shop for the festive season, have started their shopping by September.

Those who have started their seasonal spending have already spent an average of £94 just on gifts. This increases to £110 when considering everything they have bought for Christmas, such as food, drink, travel and decorations.
Of those who have already started their festive spending, the most popular items purchased have been gifts (63%), followed by wrapping paper, ribbons and gift bags (32%), Christmas cards (29%), and decorations (19%).

Items already bought for the festive season              % bought by those who have already started shopping
Gifts                                                                                                                       63%
Wrapping paper, ribbon, gift bags                                                                         32%
Christmas cards                                                                                                    29%
Decorations                                                                                                          19%
Long shelf-life food/snacks                                                                                   14%

ingle all the way to the high street
Brits will once again flock to the high street for their festive purchases, with almost four out of five (79%) shoppers saying it’s important to support local businesses when shopping this season. This includes three-quarters of 18-34 year olds (75%) and over eight out of ten aged 55+ (82%).

Festive essentials
When it comes to what will influence Brits on their festive spending, 41% indicated deals and offers would influence their decision to spend more on gifts for family and friends, compared to just 16% who said gift guides and 14% who said Christmas ads (14%).
In terms of festive essentials, there are some elements that many Brits won’t compromise on. For example, when asked what items they would consider forgoing this season, turkey is set to remain a firm fixture at the dinner table for many with 35% saying they wouldn’t compromise on it, followed by the Christmas tree & decorations (33%).
On the other hand, almost three quarters of Brits (73%) said they would consider compromising on Christmas pudding.
Andrei Ciripitca, Vice President at American Express, said: “The festive period is an important time for businesses and shoppers alike, and we continue to see many people spreading their Christmas shopping throughout the year. Our data also shows the importance of offers and deals to Brits’ spending decisions. In addition to earning rewards on their everyday spending, our popular Amex Offers programme provides deals year-round across popular travel, lifestyle and entertainment brands, helping Cardmembers to save when they spend.”

1Research was conducted by Opinium. Sample was of 2,000 UK adults (18+). Results were weighted to be nationally representative. Fieldwork took place 18-22 August 2023.
2In a nationally representative survey of 2000 UK adults, 598 said they have started or will start this Christmas shopping by September this year. 598 / 2000 * 52890000 = 15,814,110 or 15.8 million. On average wedding guests are spending £110 on Christmas by September 15,814,110 * £110 = £1,739,552,100 or £1.7 billion

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