1 in 5 Brits have started filling their stockings

It’s 100 days to Christmas and festive shopping has officially begun, with nearly one in five Brits (18 per cent) starting their shopping this month.

The research from Mastercard found that nearly three in five (58 per cent) start shopping early to spread the cost of Christmas, with the increasing popularity of shopping occasions like Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Prime Day helping to make Christmas spending come early.

According to the data, the trend of shopping for experiences over materials is also sparking shoppers into festive mode even earlier in a bid to secure ‘experiential’ gifts including theatre tickets, cookery classes, yoga retreats and trips away. Others gift experiences on the list include Michelin-starred dinners, wine tasting, stargazing, escape rooms, creative workshops and tickets to football and other sports.

The data from Mastercard indicates that the average person will spend £481 (€530) between now and Christmas Eve on presents for loved ones, with one in four (24 per cent) saying a trip away is on the Christmas list and almost a third (30 per cent) snapping up theatre tickets early.

Despite the experience economy, Black Friday on 29 November is expected to be the biggest Christmas shopping day of the year with other peaks including Monday 16 September marking 100 Days to Christmas, Cyber Monday on Monday 2 December and Super Saturday on 22 December. It’s not just friends and family on the gift list either, with clothes (20 per cent), books (10 per cent) and trips away (9 per cent) top of the shops in the gifts for ‘me’ this Christmas.

People also remain shopping around the Christmas tree on Christmas Day, with two in five (41 per cent) shoppers finding time to find deals and flash sales online in between courses. Between 10am and 2pm is peak shopping time on 25th December.

According to the data, 18 per cent of Brits start their Christmas shopping in September or earlier, 19 per cent in October, 36 per cent in November with 24 per cent of last minute shoppers only starting in December. Husbands and wives are the most difficult to buy for, followed by mum, then dad, then kids. Seven per cent of those questioned said they found their mother-in-law the hardest person to buy for at Christmas.

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