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Christmas Shopping Habits - UK - January 2010

  • ‘Experience’ gifts have more potential as Christmas presents and need to be communicated strongly across a range of prices through stores and websites. Only 15% (8 million) of adults chose a leisure activity and 5% (3 million) an activity day as gifts for Christmas 2009.
  • More retailers could set up gift/wish list services based on what their relatives/friends would like to receive. With the growth of online communications, such as email, facebook and twitter, these services could help the 56% (29 million) of people who already compile a list when they go Christmas shopping.
  • A third of adults (16 million) put a little away all year to pay for Christmas shopping. Retailers should be maximising this opportunity by offering saving schemes. Loyalty incentives would also persuade shoppers to buy at the retailer’s outlets.
  • One in three (16 million) adults leave their Christmas shopping until the last week. Retailers need to put more emphasis on store events, demonstrations and Christmas experiences to encourage more shopping in early December.
  • Inspirational gift ideas need to be prominent on websites in the run up to Christmas. More than one in eight (7 million) adults now does most of their Christmas gift buying online and four in ten (21 million) uses the internet for getting Christmas gift ideas.
  • Websites need to guide online shoppers to the perfect Christmas gift. A third of adults (17 million) believe it is difficult to get ideas on the internet if you don’t know what you wa

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Table of contents

  1. Issues in the Market

      • Key themes
        • Definition
          • Retail sales data
            • Abbreviations
            • Future Opportunities

              • Improving the online Christmas shopping experience
                • Less perspiration, more inspiration
                  • Honing down the selection
                    • Linking shoppers together
                      • Putting the fun back into Christmas
                        • Join the party!
                          • Teach me to…
                            • Dreaming of a greener Christmas
                              • Less wasteful, still decorative
                                • Give a little bit
                                • Market in Brief

                                  • Recovery in Christmas sales in 2009
                                    • Less discounting a big factor
                                      • Improvement in consumer confidence
                                        • Food retailers continue to increase share of spending
                                          • Wide variation in performance in non-foods
                                            • Home shopping has another good year
                                              • Wide disparity in consumer sentiment
                                                • Clothing and footwear the most popular gift choice
                                                  • Preparations start early for Christmas
                                                  • Internal Market Environment

                                                    • Key points
                                                      • Plenty of promotions, but less all-out discounting
                                                        • Promotions planned well ahead
                                                          • Supermarkets invest heavily in lower prices
                                                            • Online sales started early
                                                              • Trading up for Christmas
                                                                • A big Saturday Boxing Day
                                                                  • Retailers still reaping benefits of 2008 collapses
                                                                    • Internet growing in importance
                                                                      • Figure 1: British internet penetration at home/work/place of study or elsewhere, by gender, socio-economic group and age group, 2002-09
                                                                  • Broader Market Environment

                                                                    • Key points
                                                                      • Return of consumer confidence could be short-lived
                                                                        • Figure 2: Trends in PDI, consumer expenditure and GDP, at current prices, 2004-14
                                                                      • VAT back up to 17.5%
                                                                        • Unemployment levels out, but could rise again
                                                                          • Figure 3: Unemployment: four quarter average seasonally adjusted, January 2008-October 2009
                                                                          • Figure 4: Trends in consumer sentiment for the coming year, Jan-Dec 2009
                                                                        • More choosing to save their earnings
                                                                          • Population growth to boost Christmas spending
                                                                            • Figure 5: Trends in the age structure of the UK population, 2004-14
                                                                            • Figure 6: Trends in the socio-economic structure of the UK adult population, 2004-14
                                                                        • Market in Context

                                                                          • Key points
                                                                            • Most important trading period of the year
                                                                              • Figure 7: Seasonal analysis of retail sales value – proportion of sales taken in December, by sector, 1995-2009
                                                                            • Bias to fourth quarter for home shopping companies
                                                                              • Figure 8: Seasonal analysis of retail sales value – proportion of sales taken in fourth quarter, by sector, 1995-2009
                                                                          • Strengths and Weaknesses in the Market

                                                                            • Strengths
                                                                              • Weaknesses
                                                                              • Who’s Innovating?

                                                                                • Helping with catering worries
                                                                                  • Opening a dialogue with shoppers
                                                                                    • Celebrating with a penny bazaar
                                                                                      • Harvey Nichols expands pop-up shop format
                                                                                        • Increasing the heart rate
                                                                                        • Review of Christmas Trading 2009

                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                            • Strong turnaround in Christmas trading
                                                                                              • BRC reports big increases
                                                                                                • National Statistics retail sales also up on 2008
                                                                                                  • Food retailers outperform market again
                                                                                                    • Figure 9: December, year-on-year change in sales value, by sector, 2007-08 and 2008-09
                                                                                                  • Home shopping companies have a good year
                                                                                                    • Figure 10: Fourth quarter year-on-year change in sales value, by sector, 2007-08 and 2008-09
                                                                                                  • Annual retail sales growth lower than 2008
                                                                                                    • Figure 11: Retail sales annual change, by value, not seasonally adjusted, 2007-08 and 2008-09
                                                                                                • Christmas Spending Patterns

                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                    • Little change in perceptions of Christmas spending
                                                                                                      • Figure 12: Perceptions of spending compared to last year, January 2008-January 2010
                                                                                                    • Wide disparity in consumer sentiment
                                                                                                      • Figure 13: Balance of sentiment on spending on Christmas compared to previous year, by age January 2010
                                                                                                    • Third age most likely to have cut back
                                                                                                      • Amount spent on gifts similar to 2008
                                                                                                        • Figure 14: Spending on Christmas gifts for close family and friends, January 2008-January 2010
                                                                                                      • Younger consumers spend less on gifts
                                                                                                        • Figure 15: Amount spent on Christmas gifts for close friends and family, by age, January 2010
                                                                                                      • Children push up the expense of Christmas
                                                                                                        • Wide variations in average gift spending from average
                                                                                                          • Figure 16: Average amount spent on Christmas gifts for close friends and family, by demographics, January 2010
                                                                                                      • Christmas Gifting Patterns

                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                          • Clothing extends lead as most popular choice
                                                                                                            • Figure 17: Comparison of purchasing of gifts, January 2008-January 2010
                                                                                                          • Giving vouchers or money just lazy or practical?
                                                                                                            • Experience gifts yet to take off
                                                                                                              • Charity gifts rise in the recession
                                                                                                                • Women the dominant Christmas gift buyers
                                                                                                                  • Families likely to be buying from more categories
                                                                                                                    • Figure 18: Top items bought as Christmas gifts, by Mintel’s Special Groups, January 2010
                                                                                                                • Christmas Shopping Attitudes and Behaviour

                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                      • Figure 19: Comparison of attitudes towards Christmas gift shopping, January 2008-January 2010
                                                                                                                    • Most shoppers prepared a list for Christmas 2009
                                                                                                                      • While half kept to their budget
                                                                                                                        • Timing of Christmas shopping spread widely
                                                                                                                          • Figure 20: Timing of Christmas shopping, by age, January 2010
                                                                                                                        • Making the most of retailer promotions
                                                                                                                          • Promotional offers have widespread appeal
                                                                                                                            • Figure 21: Influence of price on Christmas shopping, by Mintel’s Special Groups, January 2010
                                                                                                                          • Saving up for a good Christmas
                                                                                                                            • Figure 22: Financing of Christmas, by age and socio-economic group, January 2010
                                                                                                                          • Late December rather than January sales
                                                                                                                            • Biggest spenders spend throughout the year
                                                                                                                              • Figure 23: Average amount spent on Christmas gifts for close friends and family, by attitudes towards Christmas gift shopping, January 2010
                                                                                                                          • Impact of Online on Christmas Shopping Behaviour

                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                              • Internet Christmas gift buying continues to grow
                                                                                                                                • Figure 24: Usage of the internet for christmas shopping, January 2008-January 2010
                                                                                                                              • Reducing the hassle of visiting crowded shops
                                                                                                                                • Figure 25: Proportion buying most Christmas gifts using the internet, by age and socio-economic group, January 2010
                                                                                                                              • Doing Christmas research online before buying
                                                                                                                                • Figure 26: Use of the internet for gift ideas and comparing prices, by age and Mintel’s Special Groups, January 2010
                                                                                                                              • Positive experience for most users
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 27: Evaluation of online Christmas gift buying experience by buyers, January 2010
                                                                                                                                • Use of money-off vouchers not widespread
                                                                                                                                  • Internet buyers spend more on gifts
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 28: Average amount spent on Christmas gifts for close friends and family, by statements on usage of the internet for Christmas shopping, January 2010
                                                                                                                                • Christmas Shopper Target Groups

                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                    • Identifying targets
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 29: Christmas shopping target groups, January 2010
                                                                                                                                    • Leave It Late (19%)
                                                                                                                                      • Prepared Shoppers (27%)
                                                                                                                                        • Bargain Hunters (17%)
                                                                                                                                          • Apathetic (37%)
                                                                                                                                            • Bargain hunters getting the most for their money
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 30: Items bought as Christmas gifts, by target groups, January 2010
                                                                                                                                            • Lack of interest not a barrier to spending
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 31: Amount Spent on Christmas gifts to close friends and family, by target groups, January 2010
                                                                                                                                            • Internet buyers the biggest bargain hunters
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 32: Statements on internet shopping for last Christmas, by target groups, January 2010
                                                                                                                                          • Retail Competitor Analysis

                                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                                              • All retail sales
                                                                                                                                                • Predominantly food retailers – includes all food, drink and tobacco specialists
                                                                                                                                                  • Predominantly non-food retailers
                                                                                                                                                    • Mixed goods – Non-specialised non-food stores
                                                                                                                                                      • Clothing and footwear stores
                                                                                                                                                        • Household goods stores
                                                                                                                                                          • All other non-food specialists
                                                                                                                                                            • Jewellers
                                                                                                                                                              • Sports and leisure
                                                                                                                                                                • Music and entertainment retailers
                                                                                                                                                                  • Toys and games retailers
                                                                                                                                                                    • Other miscellaneous non-food retailers
                                                                                                                                                                      • Non-store retailing
                                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – Christmas Spending Patterns

                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 33: Perceptions of spending compared with last year, by demographics, January 2010
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 34: Spending on Christmas gifts for close family and friends, by demographics, January 2010
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 35: Average amount spent on Christmas gifts to close friends and family, by demographics, January 2010
                                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – Christmas Gifting Patterns

                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 36: Items bought as Christmas gifts, by demographics, January 2010
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 37: Items bought as Christmas gifts, by demographics, January 2010
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 38: Items bought as Christmas gifts, by demographics, January 2010
                                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – Christmas Shopping Attitudes and Behaviour

                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 39: Shopping behaviour at Christmas, by demographics, January 2010
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 40: Shopping behaviour at Christmas, by demographics, January 2010
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 41: Shopping behaviour at Christmas, by demographics, January 2010
                                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – Impact of Online on Christmas Shopping Behaviour

                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 42: Christmas shopping and the internet, by demographics, January 2010
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 43: Christmas shopping and the internet, by demographics, January 2010
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 44: Christmas shopping and the internet, by demographics, January 2010
                                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – Christmas Shopper Target Groups

                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 45: Attitudes towards shopping for last christmas, by target groups, January 2010
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 46: Christmas shopping target groups, by demographics, January 2010

                                                                                                                                                                      Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                      • Aldi Stores Ltd (UK & Ireland)
                                                                                                                                                                      • Alliance Boots
                                                                                                                                                                      • Argos
                                                                                                                                                                      • Asda Group Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                      • British Market Research Bureau (BMRB)
                                                                                                                                                                      • British Retail Consortium
                                                                                                                                                                      • Burberry Group Plc
                                                                                                                                                                      • Co-operative Group
                                                                                                                                                                      • Comet Group Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                      • Costcutter Supermarkets Group
                                                                                                                                                                      • Debenhams Total (GTV)
                                                                                                                                                                      • Early Learning Centre Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                      • Ernest Jones Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                      • Facebook, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                      • Fortnum & Mason Plc
                                                                                                                                                                      • Hamleys of London Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                      • Harvey Nichols UK
                                                                                                                                                                      • Homebase Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                      • J. Sainsbury
                                                                                                                                                                      • JD Sports Fashion plc
                                                                                                                                                                      • John Lewis Plc (department store)
                                                                                                                                                                      • Lidl (UK)
                                                                                                                                                                      • M and M Direct Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                      • Marks & Spencer
                                                                                                                                                                      • Matalan Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                      • Office for National Statistics
                                                                                                                                                                      • Peacocks
                                                                                                                                                                      • Primark Stores Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                      • Safeway Stores
                                                                                                                                                                      • Somerfield
                                                                                                                                                                      • Ted Baker
                                                                                                                                                                      • Tesco Plc
                                                                                                                                                                      • The Original Factory Shop Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                      • The Perfume Shop Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                      • The Shoe Studio Group Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                      • The White Company Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                      • TJ Hughes Plc
                                                                                                                                                                      • Twitter, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                      • Waitrose
                                                                                                                                                                      • WH Smith PLC
                                                                                                                                                                      • Wm Morrison Supermarkets
                                                                                                                                                                      • YouTube, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                      • Zavvi

                                                                                                                                                                      Christmas Shopping Habits - UK - January 2010

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