How much does the UK spend over Christmas?
17th December 2019

Deloitte’s Christmas Survey conducted in 2018 found that UK customers spend an average of £567 over Christmas, over 42% more than the European average of £400. This was the highest amount next to Spain (£526) and Austria (£475). But where exactly is our money being spent?

The season of giving 

More than half of all UK Christmas spending will go on gifts. While in the past the most popular Christmas presents consisted of Rubik’s cubes, Tamagotchi’s and BMX bikes, nowadays teenagers tend to favour more expensive technology including smartphones, computer consoles/games and interactive children’s toys. The most popular gifts amongst adults are expected to include chocolate, books, cosmetics and perfume.

The cost of buying gifts has also risen over time. While 30 years ago the Millennium Falcon Star Wars toy would have set you back £20, nowadays it retails for around £75. Even taking into account inflation figures, this would still be around 42% less than today’s price in relative terms. In December 2018, the UK collectively spent approximately £446,000 every minute of every day on gifts alone. The UK’s second highest expenditure is, perhaps unsurprisingly, on food and drink.

Getting prepared in advance 

UK residents are an organised lot which is why nearly half of our seasonal spending takes place in November. More than half of UK shoppers prefer to get organised in advance with 53% of customers doing the majority of their shopping in November and 37% getting it all done and dusted in November alone. Only 12% leave it to the last minute and do their spending the week before Christmas. 

Taking it online

Nowadays, online spending accounts for £1 in every £6 that we spend. Cyber shopping will make up 42% of UK shoppers overall spending activity, much higher than the European average overall. What with the increasing popularity of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, consumers are encouraged to take advantage of online deals early and even outside of these dates, we are flooded with flash deals on an almost daily basis. 

Spending by region

In a 2019 study, it was found that London (£279), the North East (£286) and Northern Ireland (£285) were amongst the highest Black Friday and Cyber Monday average spenders per person throughout the UK. These were closely followed by Scotland (£253) and the West Midlands (£233). The lowest average spenders over these dates were Wales (£185) and the North West (£193). Men were found to spend £28 more than women during 2018’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Amongst the biggest spenders in the UK are families with kids who will spend on average between £1,000-£2,700 in the lead up to the big day.

With the amount of money that’s spent over the Christmas period, it’s wise to ensure your gifts are properly protected while stored in your home. The sad fact is that the number of break-ins can rise by up to 20% throughout the winter season, so you need to ensure your Home Insurance is up to scratch. For a review of your existing cover, get in touch with EIC Insurance Services on 01442 286910.

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