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Gift Shopping Habits - UK - December 2009

  • Consumers are turning away from traditional gifts in favour of gift vouchers/cards and money. Six out of ten adults gave money in 2009 (4 million more than in 2005), while 37% bought gift cards/vouchers (an increase of 2 million).
  • Retailers need their gift ranges to stand out and better match individual interests and tastes. Four in ten adults (20 million) like to buy unusual/ unique gifts and a similar proportion (equivalent to19 million) like gifts to reflect the recipient’s hobbies and interests.
  • Different marketing approaches are needed to target the three in ten adults (15 million) who enjoy shopping for gifts and the quarter (12 million) who find looking for gifts a real chore.
  • Inspiring and innovative gifts are needed in stores throughout the year to maximise sales to the 12 million who buy gifts for others on impulse, and the 9 million who like to self-treat.
  • Stores and websites need to work in tandem to convert gift browsers into purchasers. Buying gifts over the internet has grown from only 17% of adults in 2005 to approaching 40% in 2009. More than four in ten adults (21 million) use the internet to browse for gift ideas.
  • Unwanted gifts are most likely to be kept (16 million adults) or given to charity (15 million), although one in five will give them to other people as gifts.

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Table of contents

  1. Issues in the Market

      • Key themes
        • Abbreviations
        • Future Opportunities

          • Matching people with presents
            • What I want…
              • Encouraging spontaneous expression
                • Catch your recipient unawares
                  • Engaging men in the gifts market
                    • ‘Come on. Help me out, here’
                    • Market in Brief

                      • Still money for spending on gifts
                        • Christmas the dominant gifting occasion
                          • More affluent population to boost gift sales
                            • More births means more birthdays
                              • Wide range of gift-buying occasions
                                • Money and vouchers becoming more popular
                                  • Challenge of finding a unique present
                                    • Leaving birthday presents to the last minute
                                      • Internet a key part of gift-buying process
                                        • Avoiding unwanted gifts
                                        • Broader Market Environment

                                          • Key points
                                            • Consumer spending hit by the recession
                                              • Figure 1: Trends in PDI, consumer expenditure and GDP, at current prices, 2004-14
                                            • More people better off than at the start of 2009
                                              • Figure 2: Trends in how respondents would describe their financial situation, February-September 2009
                                            • Impact of recession limited on majority
                                              • Figure 3: Trends in the impact of the economic downturn on consumers, January-September 2009
                                            • Importance of Christmas to gift sales
                                              • Figure 4: Seasonal analysis of retail sales value – proportion of sales taken in Q4, by sector, 1995-2008
                                            • Growing affluence good news for gifts market
                                              • Figure 5: Structure of the UK adult population, by socio-economic group, 2004-14
                                            • Boost expected from more young families
                                              • Figure 6: Age structure of the UK population, 2004-14
                                            • Baby gifts market has more potential
                                              • Figure 7: Number of UK births and marriages, 2004-09
                                            • Growth in online gift sales
                                              • Figure 8: British internet penetration at home/work/place of study or elsewhere, by gender, socio-economic group and age, 2002-09
                                          • Gift-purchasing Occasions

                                            • Key points
                                              • Christmas comes just once a year
                                                • Figure 9: Occasions for which individual or joint gift purchased in the last 12 months, 2005 and 2009
                                              • Making the most of big birthdays
                                                • Calendar-specific occasions drive gifting
                                                  • Mums getting more gifts than dads
                                                    • Love hearts and Easter bunnies
                                                      • Wedding gifts becoming less traditional
                                                        • Buying something for the baby (and mum)
                                                          • Celebrating success or just saying thank you
                                                            • Women and more affluent the primary buyers
                                                              • Figure 10: Leading occasions for which gifts are purchased, by demographics, October 2009
                                                            • One in four buy for a lot of occasions
                                                              • Figure 11: Number of occasions for which gifts are purchased, October 2009
                                                          • Types of Birthday Gift Purchased

                                                            • Key points
                                                              • Rejecting gifts in favour of giving money
                                                                • Vouchers and money the safe option
                                                                  • Making more of gift vouchers
                                                                    • Figure 12: Types of birthday gift purchased for families and friends in the last 12 months, 2005 and 2009
                                                                  • Saying it with flowers
                                                                    • Toys and games facing increased competition
                                                                      • Home entertainment hit by downloading
                                                                        • Growing interest in food and drink
                                                                          • Fashion still a popular choice
                                                                            • Tickets for an evening’s entertainment
                                                                              • ABC1s key group to target for gifts
                                                                                • Figure 13: Types of birthday gift purchased for family and friends in the last 12 months, by demographics, October 2009
                                                                              • Mixture of variety seekers and unadventurous
                                                                                • Figure 14: Repertoire of types of gift item purchased, October 2009
                                                                            • Gift-buying Behaviour

                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                • Importance of finding something special
                                                                                  • Figure 15: General gift-buying behaviour, October 2009
                                                                                • Matching with hobbies/interests
                                                                                  • Budget buyers outnumber overspenders
                                                                                    • Making the most of special offers and sales
                                                                                      • Figure 16: Making the most of special offers and sales to buy gifts, by age and Mintel’s Special Groups, October 2009
                                                                                    • Last-minute rush for birthday gifts
                                                                                      • Making gift buying less of a chore
                                                                                        • Figure 17: Enjoyment of shopping for gifts vs finding looking for gifts a real chore, by age and Mintel’s Special Groups, October 2009
                                                                                      • Targeting the unintentional gift buyer
                                                                                        • Men leave buying birthday presents late
                                                                                          • Figure 18: General gift-buying behaviour, by demographics, October 2009
                                                                                        • Identifying targets
                                                                                          • Figure 19: Gift-buying target groups, October 2009
                                                                                        • Gifted Shoppers (17%)
                                                                                          • Value Seekers (11%)
                                                                                            • Advanced Buyers (14%)
                                                                                              • Unengaged (43%)
                                                                                                • Good Intentions (15%)
                                                                                                    • Figure 20: Number of occasions for which gifts are purchased, by gift-buying target groups, October 2009
                                                                                                    • Figure 21: Number of types of gift items purchased, by gift-buying target groups, October 2009
                                                                                                • Gift Buying and the Internet

                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                    • Internet gift buying widespread
                                                                                                      • Figure 22: Gift buying and the internet, October 2009
                                                                                                      • Figure 23: Buying of gifts on the internet, by gender, age and socio-economic group, October 2009
                                                                                                    • Looking to the internet for inspiration
                                                                                                      • Figure 24: Using the internet to browse for gift ideas and compare prices of gifts, by age and socio-economic group, October 2009
                                                                                                    • Printed catalogues still have a role to play
                                                                                                      • Majority prefer to wrap their own presents
                                                                                                        • Wish lists need to build awareness
                                                                                                          • Internet buying strongly biased towards affluent, younger groups
                                                                                                            • Figure 25: Gift buying and the internet, by demographics, October 2009
                                                                                                        • Receiving of Gifts

                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                            • Preference for surprise presents
                                                                                                              • Figure 26: Attitudes towards gifts received, October 2009
                                                                                                            • Money and vouchers not the preferred option
                                                                                                              • What to do with unwanted gifts
                                                                                                                  • Figure 27: What people do with unwanted gifts, by gender and age, October 2009
                                                                                                                • Older groups less keen on surprises
                                                                                                                  • Figure 28: Attitudes towards gifts received, by demographics, October 2009
                                                                                                                • Identifying targets
                                                                                                                  • Figure 29: Gift-receiving target groups, October 2009
                                                                                                                • Hobbyists (20%)
                                                                                                                  • Money or Vouchers (11%)
                                                                                                                    • Surprise Package (21%)
                                                                                                                      • Let Them Know (12%)
                                                                                                                        • Apathetic (36%)
                                                                                                                            • Figure 30: Gift-buying target groups, by gift-receiving target groups, October 2009
                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Gift-purchasing Occasions

                                                                                                                            • Figure 31: Occasions for which gifts purchased, by demographics, October 2009
                                                                                                                            • Figure 32: Occasions for which gifts purchased, by demographics, October 2009
                                                                                                                            • Figure 33: Occasions for which gifts purchased, by demographics, October 2009
                                                                                                                            • Figure 34: Occasions for which gifts purchased, by repertoire of occasions for which gifts purchased, October 2009
                                                                                                                            • Figure 35: Repertoire of occasions for which gifts purchased, by demographics, October 2009
                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Types of Birthday Gift Purchased

                                                                                                                            • Figure 36: Types of gift item purchased, by demographics, October 2009
                                                                                                                            • Figure 37: Types of gift item purchased, by demographics, October 2009
                                                                                                                            • Figure 38: Types of gift item purchased, by demographics, October 2009
                                                                                                                            • Figure 39: Repertoire of types of gift item purchased, by demographics, October 2009
                                                                                                                            • Figure 40: Types of gift item purchased, by repertoire of types of gift item purchased, October 2009
                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Gift-buying Behaviour

                                                                                                                            • Figure 41: Gift-buying behaviour, by demographics, October 2009
                                                                                                                            • Figure 42: Gift-buying behaviour, by demographics, October 2009
                                                                                                                            • Figure 43: Gift-buying target groups, by demographics, October 2009
                                                                                                                            • Figure 44: Gift-buying behaviour, by gift-buying target groups, October 2009
                                                                                                                            • Figure 45: Repertoire of occasions for which gifts purchased, by gift-buying target groups, October 2009
                                                                                                                            • Figure 46: Repertoire of types of gift item purchased, by gift-buying target groups, October 2009
                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Gift Buying and the Internet

                                                                                                                            • Figure 47: Gift buying and the internet, by demographics, October 2009
                                                                                                                            • Figure 48: Gift buying and the internet, by demographics, October 2009
                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Receiving of Gifts

                                                                                                                            • Figure 49: Attitudes towards receiving of gifts, by demographics, October 2009
                                                                                                                            • Figure 50: Attitudes towards receiving of gifts, by demographics, October 2009
                                                                                                                            • Figure 51: Gift-receiving target groups, by demographics, October 2009
                                                                                                                            • Figure 52: Attitudes towards gifts received, by gift-receiving target groups, October 2009
                                                                                                                            • Figure 53: Repertoire of occasions for which gifts purchased, by gift-receiving target groups, October 2009
                                                                                                                            • Figure 54: Repertoire of types of gift item purchased, by gift-receiving target groups, October 2009
                                                                                                                            • Figure 55: Gift-buying target groups, by gift-receiving target groups, October 2009
                                                                                                                            • Figure 56: Gift-receiving target groups, by gift-buying target groups, October 2009

                                                                                                                        Companies Covered

                                                                                                                        • Aldi Stores Ltd (UK & Ireland)
                                                                                                                        • Amazon.co.uk
                                                                                                                        • Apple Computer UK Ltd
                                                                                                                        • Argos
                                                                                                                        • Asda Group Ltd
                                                                                                                        • British Market Research Bureau (BMRB)
                                                                                                                        • Co-operative Group
                                                                                                                        • Debenhams Total (GTV)
                                                                                                                        • Facebook, Inc.
                                                                                                                        • Hamleys of London Ltd
                                                                                                                        • HMV Retail Ltd
                                                                                                                        • ITV plc
                                                                                                                        • J. Sainsbury
                                                                                                                        • John Lewis Partnership
                                                                                                                        • La Senza Ltd
                                                                                                                        • Lidl (UK)
                                                                                                                        • Market & Opinion Research International (MORI)
                                                                                                                        • Marks & Spencer
                                                                                                                        • Netto Foodstores Ltd
                                                                                                                        • Nintendo UK Entertainment Ltd
                                                                                                                        • PriceRunner UK
                                                                                                                        • Red Letter Days plc
                                                                                                                        • Tesco Plc
                                                                                                                        • Visa Europe
                                                                                                                        • Waitrose
                                                                                                                        • Wm Morrison Supermarkets

                                                                                                                        Gift Shopping Habits - UK - December 2009

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