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Christmas spending set to hit 84 billion pounds

By Rosalie Wessel

4 Nov 2021

Retail

Image: freestocks.org from Pexels

According to VoucherCodes’ annual Shopping For Christmas report, Christmas spending is set to hit 84.7 billion pounds.

The report analyses consumer spending habits over the six weeks leading up to Christmas.

The report also found that due to restrictions being lifted in the UK, 66 percent of UK consumers surveyed said that they want this Christmas to feel more special than Christmas 2020. 42 percent admitted that they were likely to spend more on gifts this year than the last as a result.

Retail sales are also up 6.3 percent on 2020, when only 79.7 billion pounds was spent. Christmas sales are also expected to recover 1.9 percent above pre-pandemic levels.

UK consumers living in London, the South East and the East of England are projected to spend more, whereas the North West, West Midlands and Scotland are predicted to increase year on year spending the most.

On average, consumers are expected to spend 1,275 pounds per head on Christmas preparations, which is 76 pounds more than in 2020.

Due to lifted restrictions on socialising, spending on gifts might be increased due to consumers aiming to make up for the restricted gift-giving last year. For gifts alone, consumers are set to spend 12.44 billion pounds, which is 6 percent more than 2020.

Consequences of the pandemic still remain, however. 55 percent of consumers said no when asked whether they were looking forward to visiting brick and mortar stores, despite Covid numbers falling. Out of this number 33 percent said that they were concerned about catching Covid from other customers, and 42 percent said that they preferred to shop online. A further 58 percent confirmed that they would want to avoid the Christmas shopping crowds.

Shoppers expect that half their Christmas shopping will be done online this year. Nevertheless, online retail sales are still projected to fall by 8.5 percent, but outperform 2019 in online spending.

48 percent of the respondents said that they will be going to the high streets for Christmas shopping, followed by 39 percent saying they’d be going to shopping centres and 32 percent saying retail parks.

In total, the prediction for online spending is 32.26 billion pounds, and offline is 52.45 billion pounds.

“As the retail industry gets back on its feet recovering from huge challenges of the pandemic, our report’s prediction for this Christmas is the welcome news the industry has been waiting for,” said Angust Drummond, senior director of commercial at VoucherCodes.

“This Christmas could mark the start of the turning point for brands hopeful for a profitable 2022.”