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Christmas Shopping Habits - UK - February 2014

“It was a good Christmas and everything suggests that the strong retail trend will continue through 2014. And yet everything is built on expectations that could easily be disappointed. The income squeeze is as bad as ever and we need to see that disappear if Christmas 2014 is to be as good as Christmas 2013. Looking beyond the election in 2015, there is the threat of rising interest rates. The worst of the downturn should now be over for consumers, but it is hard to foresee any strong recovery until we reach the run up to the 2020 election.”

– Richard Perks, Director of Retail Research

Some questions answered in this report include:

  • Was demand over Christmas soundly based?
  • ‘It was a Christmas of extremes’, but what were the key factors behind success and failure?
  • Is online maturing?
  • Pure players or Multi-channel?

With consumer confidence rising and a strong retail sales growth throughout 2013, a good Christmas was to be expected. In the event, it matched best expectations; although the pattern of sales brought surprises. It was a Christmas of extremes with superb performances from some leading retailers partially offset by very bad ones elsewhere: Consumers were in no mood to make do with second best.

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction

      • Financial definitions
        • Abbreviations
        • Executive Summary

            • The market
              • What sort of Christmas was it?
                • Figure 1: “How do you feel about your financial prospects, 2009-14
                • Figure 2: Average weekly earnings and the retail prices index, 2008-13
              • Winners and losers
                • Online continues to gain share of retail sales
                  • The consumer
                    • What we bought and how much we spent
                        • Figure 3: All gift buying, in-store and online, Christmas 2013
                      • Consumer attitudes to buying online
                        • Figure 4: Numbers of purchasers of Christmas presents online, 2007-13
                        • Figure 5: Use of the Internet for buying gifts, 2012 and 2013
                      • Why do we buy what we buy and where?
                        • Figure 6: How consumers choose where to shop, Christmas 2013
                      • The importance of premium foods
                        • The Christmas shopping experience
                          • Figure 7: Shopping frustrations, Christmas 2013
                        • What we do in the week after Christmas
                          • Figure 8: Christmas shopping activities between Christmas 2013 and New Year, January 2014
                        • What we think
                        • Issues in the Market

                            • Was demand over Christmas soundly based?
                              • ‘It was a Christmas of extremes’, but what were the key factors behind success and failure?
                                • Is online maturing?
                                  • Pure players or Multi-channel?
                                    • The recovery – pattern of demand this year – leisure vs retail
                                    • Trend Applications

                                        • Trend: Life Hacking
                                          • Trend: Help Me Help Myself
                                            • Mintel Futures: Access Anything Anywhere
                                            • The Market – Christmas 2013

                                              • Key points
                                                • It was a good Christmas
                                                  • Figure 9: All retail sales (excluding fuel), year-on-year growth, 2013
                                                  • Figure 10: Retail sales: December’s share of annual retail sales relative to the average share in 2004-13
                                                • Warning note on the figures for Christmas 2014
                                                  • Consumer confidence
                                                    • Figure 11: “How do you feel about your current finances?” 2009-14
                                                    • Figure 12: “How do you feel about your financial prospects”, 2009-14
                                                  • Why is consumer confidence recovering?
                                                    • Figure 13: Employment and unemployment, 2008-13 (Oct)
                                                    • Figure 14: Average house prices, Jan 2008 – Dec 2013
                                                  • 2015 is an election year
                                                    • The negative factor
                                                        • Figure 15: Average weekly earnings and the retail prices index, 2008-13
                                                      • What will consumers spend on?
                                                          • Figure 16: What do you spend extra money on? 2009-14
                                                        • Consumers want to increase spending on leisure
                                                          • Figure 17: Top 10 items that consumers spend money left over on, January 2014
                                                        • What this means for 2014
                                                          • And beyond?
                                                          • Christmas 2013 Sector Overview

                                                            • Key points
                                                              • Sector performance
                                                                  • Figure 18: Retail performance by sector, December 2013
                                                              • Online

                                                                • Key points
                                                                  • Rising share
                                                                    • Figure 19: Online sales as a percentage of all retail sales by month, 2007-13
                                                                  • Christmas - Online sales by sector
                                                                    • Figure 20: Online sales by broad sector, December 2013
                                                                    • Figure 21: Online sales in December as % total 2013 sales, by sector, December 2013
                                                                    • Figure 22: Pure players share of Online sales, 2009-13
                                                                • Retail Sector Performance

                                                                  • Key points
                                                                    • Food retailers
                                                                      • Sector sales benchmark:
                                                                          • Figure 23: Food retailers, performance, Christmas 2013
                                                                        • Clothing and footwear
                                                                          • Sector sales benchmark
                                                                              • Figure 24: Clothing retailers performance, Christmas 2013
                                                                            • Department stores
                                                                              • Sector sales benchmark
                                                                                  • Figure 25: Clothing retailers performance, Christmas 2013
                                                                                • Other sectors
                                                                                  • Benchmarks
                                                                                    • Figure 26: Other retailers’ performance, Christmas 2013
                                                                                • The Consumer – What People Bought and How Much They Spent

                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                    • The consumer – online
                                                                                      • Who bought what and where
                                                                                          • Figure 27: All Christmas gift buying, in-store and online, January 2014
                                                                                          • Figure 28: Christmas gifts bought in-store, January 2014
                                                                                        • Electricals and computer games
                                                                                          • Figure 29: Christmas gifts bought online, January 2014
                                                                                        • Trends
                                                                                            • Figure 30: Proportions of consumers buying particular gifts, 2010-13
                                                                                          • Who buys what?
                                                                                              • Figure 31: Profile of Christmas gift buyers of particular products in-store and online, January 2014
                                                                                            • How much was spent?
                                                                                                • Figure 32: Average amount spent at Christmas by buyers of products, January 2011-13
                                                                                                • Figure 33: Estimated total amounts spent by product at Christmas, January 2014
                                                                                                • Figure 34: Christmas 2013 spending by product, by age, January 2014
                                                                                                • Figure 35: Christmas 2013 spending on products, by region, January 2014
                                                                                              • Spending by product
                                                                                                • Figure 36: Amounts spent by product at Christmas, January 2014
                                                                                            • The Consumer – Online Shopping

                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                • Was it ‘an Internet Christmas’?
                                                                                                    • Figure 37: Use of the internet by device at Christmas, January 2014
                                                                                                    • Figure 38: Numbers of purchasers of Christmas presents online, 2007-13
                                                                                                    • Figure 39: Use of the Internet for buying gifts, 2012 and 2013
                                                                                                • The Consumer – The Shopping Journey

                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                    • What leads people to what they buy and where they shop
                                                                                                        • Figure 40: How consumers choose where to shop at Christmas, January 2014
                                                                                                        • Figure 41: Profile of attitudes to choosing stores at Christmas, January 2014
                                                                                                    • The Consumer – Grocery Shopping

                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                        • Premium foods
                                                                                                            • Figure 42: Attitudes to special foods at Christmas, January 2014
                                                                                                          • Aldi and Lidl
                                                                                                              • Figure 43: Profile of where people chose to shop for food for Christmas 2013, January 2014
                                                                                                          • The Consumer – The Shopping Trip – Frustrations and Intentions

                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                • Figure 44: Christmas shopping frustrations, January 2014
                                                                                                                • Figure 45: Profile of attitudes to shopping at Christmas, January 2014
                                                                                                            • The Consumer – Shopping in the Week after Christmas

                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                • Myths busted
                                                                                                                    • Figure 46: Christmas shopping activities between Christmas 2013 and New year, January 2014
                                                                                                                    • Figure 47: Profiles of post-Christmas shopping activities, January 2014
                                                                                                                • Appendix – The Consumer – What People Bought and How Much They Spent

                                                                                                                    • Figure 48: Most popular bought products in-store or online, by demographics, January 2014
                                                                                                                    • Figure 49: Next most popular bought products in-store or online, by demographics, January 2014
                                                                                                                    • Figure 50: Other bought in-store or online, by demographics, January 2014
                                                                                                                    • Figure 51: Most popular bought products – bought in-store, by demographics, January 2014
                                                                                                                    • Figure 52: Next most popular bought products – bought in-store, by demographics, January 2014
                                                                                                                    • Figure 53: Other bought products – bought in-store, by demographics, January 2014
                                                                                                                    • Figure 54: Most popular bought products – bought online, by demographics, January 2014
                                                                                                                    • Figure 55: Next most popular bought products – bought online, by demographics, January 2014
                                                                                                                    • Figure 56: Other bought products – bought online, by demographics, January 2014
                                                                                                                    • Figure 57: Bought in-store or online, January 2014
                                                                                                                    • Figure 58: Items bought as gifts, January 2014
                                                                                                                    • Figure 59: Items bought as gifts, January 2014
                                                                                                                • Appendix – The Consumer – The Shopping Journey

                                                                                                                    • Figure 60: Christmas shopping journey, by most popular products bought in-store, January 2014
                                                                                                                    • Figure 61: Christmas shopping journey, by next most popular products bought in-store, January 2014
                                                                                                                    • Figure 62: Christmas shopping journey, by other bought product in-store, January 2014
                                                                                                                    • Figure 63: Christmas shopping journey, by most popular products bought online, January 2014
                                                                                                                    • Figure 64: Christmas shopping journey, by next most popular products bought online, January 2014
                                                                                                                    • Figure 65: Christmas shopping journey, by other product bought online, January 2014
                                                                                                                    • Figure 66: Christmas shopping journey, by most popular product bought in-store and online, January 2014
                                                                                                                    • Figure 67: Christmas shopping journey, by next most popular product bought in-store and online, January 2014
                                                                                                                    • Figure 68: Christmas shopping journey, by other product bought in-store and online, January 2014
                                                                                                                    • Figure 69: Most popular - Christmas shopping journey, by demographics, January 2014
                                                                                                                    • Figure 70: Next most popular - Christmas shopping journey, by demographics, January 2014
                                                                                                                    • Figure 71: Other - Christmas shopping journey, by demographics, January 2014
                                                                                                                • Appendix – The Consumer – Online Shopping

                                                                                                                    • Figure 72: Christmas online shopping habits, January 2014
                                                                                                                    • Figure 73: Most popular Christmas online shopping habits, by demographics, January 2014
                                                                                                                    • Figure 74: Next most popular Christmas online shopping habits, by demographics, January 2014
                                                                                                                    • Figure 75: Other Christmas online shopping habits, by demographics, January 2014
                                                                                                                    • Figure 76: Most popular Christmas online shopping habits – On a laptop/PC from home/work, by demographics, January 2014
                                                                                                                    • Figure 77: Next most popular Christmas online shopping habits – On a laptop/PC from home/work, by demographics, January 2014
                                                                                                                    • Figure 78: Other Christmas online shopping habits – On a laptop/PC from home/work, by demographics, January 2014
                                                                                                                    • Figure 79: Most popular Christmas online shopping habits – On a tablet^, by demographics, January 2014
                                                                                                                    • Figure 80: Next most popular Christmas online shopping habits – On a tablet^, by demographics, January 2014
                                                                                                                    • Figure 81: Other Christmas online shopping habits – On a tablet^, by demographics, January 2014
                                                                                                                    • Figure 82: Most popular Christmas online shopping habits – On a smartphone**, by demographics, January 2014
                                                                                                                    • Figure 83: Next most popular Christmas online shopping habits – On a smartphone**, by demographics, January 2014
                                                                                                                    • Figure 84: Other Christmas online shopping habits – On a smartphone**, by demographics, January 2014
                                                                                                                • Appendix – The Consumer – Grocery Shopping and Frustrations and Intentions

                                                                                                                    • Figure 85: Attitudes to Christmas shopping, by demographics, January 2014
                                                                                                                    • Figure 86: Attitudes to Christmas shopping, by demographics, January 2014
                                                                                                                • Appendix – The Consumer – Shopping in the Week after Christmas

                                                                                                                    • Figure 87: Attitudes towards shopping after Christmas and the sales, by demographics, January 2014
                                                                                                                    • Figure 88: Attitudes towards shopping after Christmas and the sales, by demographics, January 2014

                                                                                                                Companies Covered

                                                                                                                • Amazon.co.uk
                                                                                                                • Argos
                                                                                                                • Asda Group Ltd
                                                                                                                • ASOS
                                                                                                                • Bonmarché
                                                                                                                • Burberry Group Plc
                                                                                                                • Comet Group Ltd
                                                                                                                • Dixons Retail UK & Ireland
                                                                                                                • Fat Face Ltd
                                                                                                                • Findel plc
                                                                                                                • Fortnum & Mason Plc
                                                                                                                • Galeries Lafayette (Group)
                                                                                                                • Game Group
                                                                                                                • Greggs Plc
                                                                                                                • Halfords Ltd
                                                                                                                • Homebase Ltd
                                                                                                                • House of Fraser Plc
                                                                                                                • J. Sainsbury
                                                                                                                • Jaeger Company's Shops Ltd
                                                                                                                • JD Sports Fashion plc
                                                                                                                • John Lewis Plc (department store)
                                                                                                                • Kantar Media
                                                                                                                • Karen Millen
                                                                                                                • Lush Retail Ltd
                                                                                                                • Majestic Wine Warehouse Ltd
                                                                                                                • Marks & Spencer
                                                                                                                • Matalan Ltd
                                                                                                                • McColl's (convenience stores)
                                                                                                                • Microsoft Corporation
                                                                                                                • Moss Bros Group Plc
                                                                                                                • N Brown Group Plc
                                                                                                                • New Look Group Plc
                                                                                                                • Next Group
                                                                                                                • Nisa (fascia) incl. Loco
                                                                                                                • Ocado Retail Ltd
                                                                                                                • Primark/Penneys
                                                                                                                • Robert Dyas Holdings
                                                                                                                • Ryman Group Ltd
                                                                                                                • Schwarz Group
                                                                                                                • Selfridges Group
                                                                                                                • Shop Direct Group
                                                                                                                • Sports Direct Plc
                                                                                                                • Superdrug Stores Plc
                                                                                                                • Ted Baker
                                                                                                                • Tesco (UK)
                                                                                                                • The Carphone Warehouse Ltd
                                                                                                                • The Perfume Shop Ltd
                                                                                                                • The Works Stores Ltd
                                                                                                                • Thorntons Plc
                                                                                                                • W&G Foyle Ltd
                                                                                                                • Waitrose
                                                                                                                • WH Smith PLC
                                                                                                                • White Stuff Ltd
                                                                                                                • Wm Morrison Supermarkets

                                                                                                                Christmas Shopping Habits - UK - February 2014

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