2023
9
UK Christmas Gift Buying Market Report 2023
2023-03-02T03:07:20+00:00
OX1156115
2195
160985
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Report
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“Christmas 2022 was no doubt a difficult period for retailers, with significant cutting back from shoppers in comparison to 2021. However, the age-old ability of UK consumers to put aside…

UK Christmas Gift Buying Market Report 2023

£ 2,195 (Excl.Tax)

Description

Our Christmas Gift Buying Market Report 2023 is packed with valuable insights into the UK Christmas retail market size, as well as the latest trends in Christmas gift buying. You’ll find information on retail performance during the Christmas shopping season, gift giving trends among consumers, and the impact of the cost of living crisis on the Christmas gift industry. Mintel’s expert analysis and recommendations will help you to anticipate what’s next in the market and overcome challenges ahead.

UK Christmas Gift Market – Current Landscape

Mintel’s Christmas gift buying market research found that, as expected, Christmas 2022 was a difficult period for retailers. Against the backdrop of the cost of living crisis, a significant number of shoppers cut back on spending. Our experts’ observations found that consumer attitudes towards Christmas gift buying have shifted from volume to value. There is now more of a focus on ‘buying bigger’ and many consumers are cutting back on smaller stocking filler-type gifts.

Given that shoppers are likely to feel a similar set of financial pressures in 2023, these new Christmas retail shopping habits are set to continue.

Christmas Retail Market Research – Trends and Statistics

As Brits continue to face increased living costs, Christmas shoppers will be looking for ways to keep the costs down, so value will likely remain at the top of the agenda for consumers. In 2022, almost half of Christmas gift buyers bought more on discount than they usually do, highlighting how promotionally driven the period was. Mintel’s market research also found that the income squeeze encouraged people to start shopping earlier in an effort to spread the cost of Christmas, with many consumers utilising Black Friday deals or buy-now-pay-later schemes.

  • Christmas retail market size: In value terms retail sales were up 6% year-on-year, the strongest value growth seen since 2016.
  • Christmas retail market challenges: Nearly 50% of Christmas shoppers bought more gifts on discount than they usually do, suggesting consumers are becoming more cautious about spending at Christmas and less inclined to pay full price.
  • Christmas retail consumer behaviours: In 2022, 44% of consumers started their Christmas shopping earlier than September, indicating the shift to a more shapeless festive period.

UK Christmas Retail – Future Trends

Despite the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, the age-old ability of UK consumers to put aside economic concerns to celebrate the festive season has continued. However, UK Christmas gift retailers face challenges due to changing consumer attitudes towards gift buying. Mintel’s market research indicated that cost-saving and sustainability are priorities for many Christmas shoppers. There will be a significant opportunity for smaller-ticket, ethically-minded gifts in 2023. Given the need to keep costs down and cut back, the biggest gifting opportunities will be found at the lower-ticket end of the market. Gifts which combine value but don’t sacrifice on sentiment and quality will be highly sought after.

To discover more about the UK Christmas Gift Buying Market Report 2023, read our UK Food and Drink Gifting Market Report, or take a look at our other Retail Industry Market Research.

Quickly Understand

  • The impact of the cost-of-living crisis on gift giving and types of gift given.
  • Overall retail sales performance in Q4 and reported results from retailers for the period.
  • Channel performance between online and in-store.
  • Key trends and innovations during Christmas 2022.
  • Who gifts were given to during Christmas 2022 and how they were given.
  • Average spend on gifts, when gift buying began and when the most was spent.
  • Purchase journey for buying gifts in 2022.

Popular UK Retail Brands Covered in this Report

Tesco, John Lewis, Amazon, Boots, Aldi, Lidl, JD Sports, Selfridges, ASOS, Currys PC World, Marks & Spencer, Superdrug, eBay, Sainsbury’s, Lush, Asda

Expert Analysis from a Specialist in the UK Retail Sector

This report, written by Nick Carroll, a leading analyst in the retail industry, delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends in the Christmas gift retail market and add expert context to the numbers.

Christmas 2022 was no doubt a difficult period for retailers, with significant cutting back from shoppers in comparison to 2021. However, the age-old ability of UK consumers to put aside the economic background to celebrate did shine through, and in many ways, it was a far more positive period than was expected. Looking to 2023, value will remain top of the agenda and a more shapeless nature of demand will make retailers getting promotional periods right, in terms of both range and timing, more critical than ever.”

Nick Carroll - Research AnalystNick Carroll
Associate Director – Retail Insights

 

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • Key issues covered in this Report
    • Products covered in this Report
  2. Executive Summary

    • The market
    • Volumes decline by a record level as the cost-of-living crisis bites
      • Figure 1: All retail sales (excluding fuel) performance in December, non-seasonally adjusted value and volume, 2018-22
    • Store-based retailers reclaim demand
      • Figure 2: Key category performance in December and November and December combined, non-seasonally adjusted value and volume, 2018-22
    • Online sales fall 7.4% in Q4
      • Figure 3: Total online retail sales performance and average weekly sales, non-seasonally adjusted, October 2021-December 2022
    • Stores continue to reclaim share of non-food demand
      • Figure 4: Estimated share of total non-food sales, stores and online and other non-store, 2020-22
    • Innovations for Christmas 2022
    • JD turns Oxford Street storefront into an augmented reality arcade
      • Figure 5: Playing the augmented reality game King of the Game at JD Oxford Street store, 2022
    • Possibly the most sustainable Christmas tree yet
      • Figure 6: Pot Grown Tree Rental from Green Elf Trees, 2022
    • Aldi marks the most in-demand items on shelves for foodbanks
      • Figure 7: Aldi puts signage on shelves to highlight most in-demand foodbank items, 2022
    • Tesco opened a reverse supermarket pop-up store
      • Figure 8: Tesco’s Give Back Express store, 2022
    • The consumer
    • Gifting levels for Christmas 2022 in line with 2021
      • Figure 9: Who Christmas gifts were given to, 2022
    • Clothing and beauty items the Christmas 2022 mainstays
      • Figure 10: Products given as gifts for Christmas, 2020-22
    • Average expenditure on Christmas in line with 2021
      • Figure 11: Changes in Christmas gift spending, by household income, 2022
    • Consumers engaging in Christmas shopping earlier
      • Figure 12: When Christmas gift buying started, 2020-22
    • Those in the highest income bracket spending less on average
      • Figure 13: Average spend on Christmas gifts, by household income, 2020-22
    • Revival of bricks-and-mortar purchasing
      • Figure 14: How Christmas gifts were purchased, 2020-22
    • Gift givers primarily get ideas from the recipient
      • Figure 15: Consumer behaviour before buying Christmas gifts, 2022
    • Value and sustainability goals drive present reduction
      • Figure 16: Attitudes towards Christmas celebrations, 2022
  3. Issues and Insights

    • Drive for value creates a highly promotional and more shapeless festive period
    • Gift reduction trends are back, driven by value and conscious consumerism
  4. Market Drivers

    • Inflation is the key concern for consumers and brands
      • Figure 17: Inflation, overall index (CPI) and core categories, 2022
    • Consumer spending power will be curbed
      • Figure 18: All retail (ex. fuel) sales performance, non-seasonally adjusted value and volume, 2022
      • Figure 19: Spending in the last three months, 2021-23
    • Unemployment is at a near-50-year low
    • Consumers’ financial wellbeing has fallen from the highs of 2021…
      • Figure 20: Household financial wellbeing index, 2016-22
    • …and future confidence is now at record low levels
      • Figure 21: Financial confidence index, 2016-23
  5. Retail Sales Performance

    • Volumes decline by a record level as cost-of-living crisis bites
      • Figure 22: All retail sales (excluding fuel) performance in December, non-seasonally adjusted value and volume, 2018-22
      • Figure 23: All retail sales (excluding fuel) performance in November and December combined, non-seasonally adjusted value and volume, 2018-22
    • Store-based retailers reclaim demand
      • Figure 24: Key category performance in December and November and December combined, non-seasonally adjusted value and volume, 2018-22
    • December reclaims some share of Q4 demand
      • Figure 25: Final quarter months as a % of all retail sales in the final quarter, by value, 2019-22
  6. Channel Performance: Online and In-store

    • Online sales fall 7.4% in Q4
      • Figure 26: Total online retail sales performance and average weekly sales, non-seasonally adjusted, October 2021-December 2022
      • Figure 27: Online share of all retail sales, Q4 2019-22
    • Store-based retailers claim a slim majority of sales in Q4
      • Figure 28: All online retail sales, split by broad type of retailer, 2018-22
    • World Cup boosts online grocery demand
      • Figure 29: Store-based online grocery retail sales performance, non-seasonally adjusted, and share of all grocery retail sales, October 2021-December 2022
    • Stores continue to reclaim share of non-food demand
      • Figure 30: Estimated share of total non-food sales, stores and online and other non-store, 2020-22
  7. Retailer Performance

    • Retail sales performance by sector
      • Figure 31: Retail sales performance by sector, non-seasonally adjusted value, November/December and 2022 overall
    • Reported retailers’ results
    • Grocers: value the order of the day
      • Figure 32: Grocery: sector and reported retailer sales, November/December 2022
    • Fashion: a return to the high street boosts multi-channel players
      • Figure 33: Clothing and footwear: sector and reported retailer sales, Christmas 2022
    • Household goods: energy efficient demand soars as gifting suffers
      • Figure 34: Household goods: sector and reported retailer sales, Christmas 2022
    • Mixed goods and other specialists: greater in-store demand common across all sectors
      • Figure 35: Mixed goods and miscellaneous specialist reported retailer sales, Christmas 2022
  8. Trends and Innovations for Christmas 2022

    • Helping to spread the cost of Christmas
    • John Lewis looks to help customers spread the cost
    • Boots partnered with Clearpay 
    • In-store experiences blur the lines between retail, pleasure and leisure
    • JD turns Oxford Street storefront into an augmented reality arcade
      • Figure 36: Playing the augmented reality game King of the Game at JD Oxford Street store, 2022
    • Lush launched Lush Lounge at Westfield London
      • Figure 37: Lush Lounge, 2022
    • Shein opens Christmas pop-up at The Stables, West End, London
      • Figure 38: Shein’s 360° photo booth, 2022
    • Consumers want to tackle the throwaway nature of Christmas 
    • Possibly the most sustainable Christmas tree yet 
      • Figure 39: Pot Grown Tree Rental from Green Elf Trees, 2022
    • eBay promotes second-hand gifts 
    • Retailers make gift giving and charitable donations easier
    • Aldi marks the most in-demand items on shelves for foodbanks 
      • Figure 40: Aldi puts signage on shelves to highlight most in-demand foodbank items, 2022
    • Superdrug launched the Beauty Gift Appeal 
    • Tesco opened a reverse supermarket pop-up store 
      • Figure 41: Tesco’s Give Back Express store, 2022
    • Lidl launches toy bank scheme
    • Zapp provided a Christmas delivery alternative to Royal Mail strikes 
    • Retailers enter the chart race for Christmas No.1 and raise charity efforts
    • A Merry Techmas from Currys 
    • M&S Christmas single reached No.2 in the iTunes chart
    • Deodorant brand Fussy released an armpit version of Deck the Halls
  9. Advertising and Marketing Activity

    • Advertising spend increases despite high inflation
      • Figure 42: Recorded above-the-line, online display and direct mail total and annual change in spending by retailers on advertising during Q4, 2017-22
    • Amazon dominates spending in Q4
      • Figure 43: Leading retailers’ spending on recorded above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising, October-December 2022
    • Top spenders concentrate on joy in Christmas adverts
    • Amazon’s “Joy is Made”
    • Asda spreads joy with Buddy the Elf
    • Tesco’s #StandforJoy
    • Boots “Joy For All”
    • 36% of advertising spend in 2022 takes place in Q4
      • Figure 44: Leading retailers’ spending on recorded above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising, Q1-3 and Q4 split, 2022
    • TV dominates spending in Q4 but digital increases share
      • Figure 45: Recorded above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising spend by retailers, by media type, Q4 2022
    • Supermarkets lead spending in Q4
      • Figure 46: Recorded above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising spend by retailers, by advertiser type, Q4 2022
    • Key Christmas campaigns
    • John Lewis puts spotlight on foster families this Christmas
    • The Alternative John Lewis advert
    • eBay Gift Diggers
    • Waitrose cuts scene from Christmas ad following sun safety concerns
    • M&S Gifts That Give
    • Nielsen Ad Intel coverage
  10. Who Gifts Were Given To

    • Gifting levels for Christmas 2022 in line with 2021
      • Figure 47: Who Christmas gifts were given to, 2022
      • Figure 48: Repertoire of recipients gifts given to, 2021 and 2022
      • Figure 49: Attitudes towards gift giving and Secret Santa, 2022
  11. Gifts Given in 2022

    • Clothing and beauty items the Christmas 2022 mainstays
      • Figure 50: Products given as gifts for Christmas, 2020-22
      • Figure 51: Products given as gifts for Christmas, by gender, 2022
    • Repertoire of categories becomes more condense
      • Figure 52: Repertoire of gifting categories purchased from, 2021 and 2022
  12. How Much Was Spent

    • Average expenditure on Christmas in line with 2021
      • Figure 53: Changes in Christmas gift spending, by household income, 2022
    • Those in the highest income bracket spending less on average
      • Figure 54: Average spend on Christmas gifts, by household income, 2020-22
    • Spending peaks for young families
      • Figure 55: Average spend on Christmas gifts, by parental status, 2020-22
    • Financial concerns limit spending for half of gift buyers
      • Figure 56: Financial position, spending and credit use around Christmas 2022, by household income, 2022
  13. How Gifts Were Purchased

    • Revival of bricks-and-mortar purchasing
      • Figure 57: How Christmas gifts were purchased, 2020-22
      • Figure 58: How Christmas gifts were purchased, by age, 2022
  14. When Gifts Were Purchased

    • Consumers engaging in Christmas shopping earlier
      • Figure 59: When Christmas gift buying started, 2020-22
      • Figure 60: Consumer behaviour before buying Christmas gifts, by gender and age, 2022
      • Figure 61: When Christmas gift buying started, by age, 2022
    • Expenditure is highest in December…
      • Figure 62: When the most is spent on gifts, 2020-22
    • …with more being spent in the lead-up to Christmas
      • Figure 63: Average spent on Christmas gifts, by when they started Christmas gift shopping, 2020-22
  15. Behaviour Before Buying

    • Gift givers primarily get ideas from the recipient
    • Online more popular for gift inspiration than in-store
    • A fifth of gift buyers wait for discounts
      • Figure 64: Consumer behaviour before buying Christmas gifts, by age, 2022
  16. Attitudes towards Gift Buying in 2022

    • Cautious spending a key theme
      • Figure 65: Attitudes towards Christmas celebrations, 2022
    • Sustainability around Christmas
      • Figure 66: Attitudes towards Christmas celebrations, by age, 2022
    • Independent retailers most popular among younger gift buyers
      • Figure 67: Attitudes towards Christmas celebrations, by age, 2022
  17. Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

    • Data sources
    • VAT
    • Abbreviations
    • Consumer research methodology

About the report

This market report provides in-depth analysis and insight supported by a range of data. At the same time, introductory and top-level content is provided to give you an overview of the issues covered.

Market

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Data

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*databooks not available with UK B2B Industry reports.

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