Consumers are increasingly looking to complete their festive shopping early, new research shows.
According to a study conducted by American Express, men are challenging the stereotype of constantly frantically searching for gifts at the very last minute on Christmas Eve. Findings from the financial services provider revealed that more than three-quarters (82 per cent) of males, including those who may have taken out a loan to help fund their purchase, plan to have the majority of their shopping completed by December 14th – leaving them some 11 shopping days spare in which to pick up any extra items. Meanwhile, 16 per cent of men are due to delay hitting the high street to the week leading up to Christmas Day. Conversely, just one per cent will start shopping on Christmas Eve.
Overall, the typical Briton is set to spend some 511 pounds over the course of this Christmas – a rise of 50 pounds from last year, with a low-rate loan one possible to fund such spending. Meanwhile, about half (49 per cent) of consumers plan to get something for themselves. Women are looking to splash out 70 pounds, while men are on track to double such self-expenditure at 133 pounds.
However, women still appear to be more organised in terms of shopping for the festive season. More than half (58 per cent) of females state the majority of their gifts will be purchased by the end of November, as just four per cent report that they are to put off shopping until Christmas week. Further research by American Express indicated that 56 per cent of Britons will visit the high street to get the majority of their gifts, as just over a third of respondents are to conduct most of their shopping via the internet.
Commenting on the findings, Tom Allder, vice-president of UK lending for American Express, said: “Our research shows that 90 per cent of people are planning to do some of their Christmas shopping online this year, although store shopping still dominates overall. This could explain why most men are getting their yuletide shopping in the bag so early, so that they can be sure their online gifts arrive in time.”
The most-wanted presents for men are books, DVDs and CDs. Clothes and cash complete the top five sought-after gifts for this demographic. Meanwhile, clothes are the most desired item for women, followed by books and cosmetics. Females were also reported to want jewellery and CDs for this festive period.
Those consumers who are concerned that at present they will be unable to fund the Christmas of their dreams this year may wish to consider applying for a low-rate loan to help meet the costs of buying gifts and festive food. However, research conducted by moneysupermarket earlier this month advised those looking to take out a loan to act sooner rather than later as the comparison website suggests that a number of financial providers are increasing the interest rates attached to their borrowing products and becoming stricter with lending criteria. Tim Moss, head of loans, reported that as a result of the credit crunch more people may find their finances under greater pressure in the coming months, making now potentially an ideal time to apply for a loan.