Sorry for interrupting, this website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Learn more
Accept & Close

Christmas Gift Buying - UK - February 2019

“It was not a great Christmas, but it was not the disaster that some early reports suggested either. Demand slowed in the final quarter and some sales were pulled forward to November by early discounting. It’s an immensely challenging time for retailers, but whether they trade online, in stores or both, the basics of retailing have not changed and those that focus on getting this right continue to find opportunities for growth.”

- Thomas Slide, Senior Retail Analyst

This report looks at the following areas:

  • Where next for the high street and what about Christmas 2019?
  • Online – will it ever stop growing?
  • Looking to have a more sustainable Christmas

What you get

What's included

Why buy from us?

Succeed

Our reports will provide you with market data, consumer research and competitive intelligence to succeed in your market.

Instant Access

Buy now and you'll have instant access to the information you need to make the right decisions.

Opportunities

Find out what's next in the markets that matter to you: where opportunities lie and what challenges you will face.

Trusted

A business Superbrand, Mintel is a source you can trust. We have been defining and refining the Market Intelligence mix since 1972.

Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Products covered in this Report
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • Retail sales growth slowed
              • Figure 1: Retail sales value growth, 2014-18
            • Consumer confidence falls
              • Figure 2: Mintel financial confidence tracker, January 2017-January 2019
            • But real incomes are rising and unemployment is low
              • Figure 3: Real wage growth: wage growth vs inflation, January 2016-December 2018
            • A weak housing market adds to uncertainty
              • Figure 4: Consumer credit outstanding as % of all consumer spending, 2009-18
            • Black Friday still growing
              • The shift to online continues
                • Figure 5: Online sales as % of all retail sales, 2013-18
                • Figure 6: Online sales: pureplayers vs store-based retailers, 2008-18
              • The retailers
                • Figure 7: Selected retail sectors’ sales growth, December 2018 and all 2018
              • The consumer
                • In-store and online used almost equally
                  • Figure 8: How they bought gifts for Christmas, December 2018
                • Home delivery dominates online orders
                  • Figure 9: How they had Christmas gifts delivered, December 2018
                • Gift buyers spend an average of £339
                  • Figure 10: What they spend on Christmas gifts, by age, December 2018
                • 45-54 year-olds buy for the most people
                  • Figure 11: Who they buy Christmas gifts for, December 2018
                • Clothing the most popular gift purchase
                  • Figure 12: What they bought as Christmas gifts, December 2018
                • November is the most popular time to start shopping
                  • Figure 13: When they start shopping for Christmas gifts, December 2018
                • A chance to reach new shoppers
                  • Figure 14: Christmas shopping behaviours, December 2018
                • Ethical gifting, discounting and visiting high streets
                  • Figure 15: Attitudes towards shopping for Christmas gifts, December 2018
                • What we think
                • Issues and Insights

                  • Where next for the high street and what about Christmas 2019?
                    • The facts
                      • The implications
                        • Nowhere to hide
                          • Lessons for 2019
                            • Online – will it ever stop growing?
                              • The facts
                                • The implications
                                  • Looking to have a more sustainable Christmas
                                    • The facts
                                      • The implications
                                      • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                        • Retail sales growth has slowed
                                          • And the outlook is uncertain
                                            • Black Friday still growing
                                              • Online growing, but store-based retailers growing faster than pureplayers
                                              • Retail Sales Performance

                                                • Retail sales slowing in the final quarter
                                                  • Retail sales value growth slowing
                                                    • Figure 16: Retail sales value growth, 2014-18
                                                    • Figure 17: Retail sales volume growth, 2014-18
                                                • Market Drivers

                                                  • Consumer confidence drifting down
                                                    • Figure 18: Mintel financial confidence tracker, January 2017-January 2019
                                                  • Real incomes are still growing
                                                    • Figure 19: Real wages growth: wages growth vs inflation, January 2016-December 2018
                                                  • Interest rates rising
                                                    • Brexit leads to uncertainty
                                                      • Figure 20: Consumer reactions to the prospect of Brexit, July 2016-January 2019
                                                    • Consumer credit falling in real terms
                                                      • Figure 21: Consumer credit outstanding as % of all consumer spending, 2009-18
                                                    • Outlook uncertain
                                                    • Black Friday

                                                        • 39% bought something over Black Friday
                                                          • Signs of disillusionment?
                                                            • Where next for Black Friday?
                                                            • Online

                                                                • Online share growing
                                                                  • Figure 22: Online sales as % of all retail sales, 2013-18
                                                                • Stores vs pureplayers
                                                                    • Figure 23: Online sales: pureplayers vs store-based retailers, 2008-18
                                                                  • Online by retail sector
                                                                    • Figure 24: Online retailers’ sales growth, by retail sector, 2018 on 2017
                                                                    • Figure 25: Online sales, by retail sector, 2008 and 2018
                                                                  • Online sales by product
                                                                    • Figure 26: Online retailing, estimated sales by product, 2017
                                                                  • Online – where next?
                                                                  • Companies and Brands – What You Need to Know

                                                                    • Not a bad Christmas despite discounting
                                                                      • Food retailers supported by the specialists
                                                                        • Clothing becomes even more competitive
                                                                          • A Christmas of extremes in the department stores
                                                                            • Online very strong
                                                                              • Adspend returns to growth in 2018
                                                                              • Retailer Christmas Trading Performance

                                                                                • Retail sales up 2.1% in December
                                                                                  • Figure 27: Retail sales, by sector, year-on-year growth, December 2018 and all 2018
                                                                                • Food retailers finish on a weak note
                                                                                    • Figure 28: Food retailers’ Xmas sales performance, 2018
                                                                                  • Clothing – a reasonable Christmas after a difficult year
                                                                                      • Figure 29: Clothing retailers’ Xmas sales performance, 2018
                                                                                    • Department stores at the extremes
                                                                                      • Figure 30: Department stores’ Xmas sales performance, 2018
                                                                                    • Other specialists
                                                                                      • Figure 31: Other store-based retailers: Xmas sales performance 2018
                                                                                    • Non-store still growing strongest overall
                                                                                      • Figure 32: Non-store retailers’ Xmas sales performance, 2018
                                                                                  • Advertising and Marketing Activity

                                                                                      • Fourth quarter adspend returns to growth in 2018
                                                                                        • Figure 33: Recorded above-the-line, online display and direct mail total and annual change in spending by retailers on advertising during Q4, 2014-18
                                                                                      • Amazon dominates spending in Q4
                                                                                        • Figure 34: Leading retailers’ spending on recorded above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising, October-December 2018
                                                                                      • 36% of spend takes place in Q4
                                                                                        • Figure 35: Leading retailers’ spending on recorded above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising, Q1-3 and Q4 split, 2018
                                                                                      • TV accounts for half of spending
                                                                                        • Figure 36: Recorded above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising spend by retailers, by media type, Q4 2018
                                                                                      • Supermarkets lead spending in Q4
                                                                                        • Figure 37: Recorded above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising spend by retailers, by advertiser type, Q4 2018
                                                                                      • Key campaigns
                                                                                        • John Lewis ad features Elton John
                                                                                          • Figure 38: ‘Some gifts are more than just a gift’ Elton John advert, Dec 2018
                                                                                        • Amazon makes boxes smile
                                                                                          • Argos highlights ease of delivery
                                                                                            • Do a bit of Debenhams
                                                                                              • Figure 39: ‘Do a bit of…’ campaign by Debenhams, Dec 2018
                                                                                            • Nielsen Ad Intel coverage
                                                                                            • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                              • 77% of gift buyers made an in-store purchase
                                                                                                • Gift buyers spend an average of £339
                                                                                                  • 49% buy presents for non-family members
                                                                                                    • Clothing is the most popular gift
                                                                                                      • November the most popular time to start shopping
                                                                                                        • Christmas exposes people to new stores
                                                                                                          • High streets offer more than just transactions
                                                                                                            • 60% think you don’t need to pay full price for gifts
                                                                                                              • A more ethical and sustainable Christmas
                                                                                                              • How They Buy

                                                                                                                • Multichannel shopping dominates
                                                                                                                  • Figure 40: How they shop for Christmas gifts, December 2018
                                                                                                                • Online shopping offers an easier way to research
                                                                                                                  • Single-parent families rely on online shopping
                                                                                                                    • Figure 41: How they bought gifts for Christmas, December 2018
                                                                                                                  • Commuters lead on smartphone shopping
                                                                                                                    • Figure 42: Smartphone gift buyers, by where they live and where they spend their days, December 2018
                                                                                                                  • Home delivery dominates online orders
                                                                                                                    • Figure 43: How they had Christmas gifts delivered, December 2018
                                                                                                                • What They Spend

                                                                                                                  • Shoppers spend £339 each on Christmas gifts
                                                                                                                    • Figure 44: What they spend on Christmas gifts, by age, December 2018
                                                                                                                  • Spending peaks for parents of teenagers
                                                                                                                    • Figure 45: What they spend on Christmas gifts, by age of children in the household, December 2018
                                                                                                                  • Fewer people increased their spending
                                                                                                                    • Figure 46: Spending compared to last year, December 2018
                                                                                                                  • Electricals buyers most likely to have increased spending
                                                                                                                    • Figure 47: What they bought, by what they spent compared to the previous Christmas, December 2018
                                                                                                                  • Londoners most likely to increase spending
                                                                                                                    • Figure 48: Increased spending compared to last year, by region, December 2018
                                                                                                                • Who They Buy For

                                                                                                                  • Christmas is a time for families
                                                                                                                    • Figure 49: Who they buy Christmas gifts for, December 2018
                                                                                                                  • 45-54 year olds buy for the most people
                                                                                                                    • Multi-generational buying adds complexity
                                                                                                                      • Figure 50: Repertoire analysis of who they bought Christmas gifts for, by age and gender, December 2018
                                                                                                                  • What They Buy

                                                                                                                      • Clothing the most popular gift purchase
                                                                                                                        • 89% gave a physical gift
                                                                                                                          • Figure 51: What they bought as Christmas gifts, December 2018
                                                                                                                        • Experiences remain the preserve of the affluent
                                                                                                                          • Electricals bought by younger shoppers
                                                                                                                            • Figure 52: What they bought as Christmas gifts, by average age and socio-economic group, December 2018
                                                                                                                          • The gender split evident in choosing gifts
                                                                                                                            • Figure 53: Debenhams gifting huts split by recipient interest, December 2018
                                                                                                                            • Figure 54: What they bought as gifts, percentage point difference between men and women, December 2018
                                                                                                                        • When They Shop

                                                                                                                          • November is the most popular time to start shopping
                                                                                                                              • Figure 55: When they start shopping for Christmas gifts, December 2018
                                                                                                                            • Women start their shopping earlier
                                                                                                                              • Figure 56: When they start shopping for Christmas gifts, by gender, December 2018
                                                                                                                            • Late-starting shoppers head for the stores
                                                                                                                              • Figure 57: How they shopped for Christmas gifts, by when they started shopping, December 2018
                                                                                                                            • Londoners most likely to leave it to the last minute
                                                                                                                              • Figure 58: Starting Christmas shopping in December, by region, December 2018
                                                                                                                          • Shopping Behaviours

                                                                                                                            • Christmas offers a chance to reach new customers
                                                                                                                              • Figure 59: Gin & Tonic gift shop in John Lewis, December 2018
                                                                                                                              • Figure 60: Christmas shopping behaviours, December 2018
                                                                                                                            • Credit and overspending
                                                                                                                                • Figure 61: Christmas shopping behaviours, by financial situation, December 2018
                                                                                                                            • Attitudes towards Shopping for Christmas Gifts

                                                                                                                              • High streets offer more than just transactions
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 62: Attitudes towards shopping for Christmas gifts, by age and gender, December 2018
                                                                                                                                • Promotions erode trust and cause confusion
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 63: Attitudes towards shopping for Christmas gifts, by age and gender, December 2018
                                                                                                                                  • Ethical gifting gains traction
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 64: Attitudes towards shopping for Christmas gifts, by gender and age, December 2018
                                                                                                                                • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                    • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                      • Consumer research methodology

                                                                                                                                      Christmas Gift Buying - UK - February 2019

                                                                                                                                      £1,995.00 (Excl.Tax)