Dec 21, 2020
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​Research reveals big drop in expected Christmas spend, stores to suffer

Dec 21, 2020

It was going to be a frugal Christmas even before the weekend’s announcement of harsher Covid restrictions introduced in parts of England, a survey released on Monday suggests.

Empty Oxford Street

Some 19% of people had expected to spend ‘significantly’ less this Christmas than last year, with a further 28% anticipating they’d spend slightly less. That adds up to a whopping 47% cutting their Christmas spend. And that meant over £4 billion less spent in the process, hitting retail hard, according to a survey by Nottingham Building Society.

On top of that, 49% had planned to spend less in stores, with just 5% expected to spend more. Some 45% anticipated their expenditure in stores to fall by over 10%, and 14% said it would be down more than 50%.

That handed an even bigger advantage to online retail with 54% of consumers expecting to buy more online than last year. Some 43% anticipated a rise of over 10% in online outlay, and 14% expecting to spend over 50% more.

Of those who expected to spend less, 48% said it’s because it doesn’t feel appropriate to spend too much this year given the current crisis. Some 34% said it would be because of restrictions around how many people you can invite to your home, and 18% said it was a result of having less money due to providing more financial support to loved ones.

Some 12% also said it was because they’ve been furloughed and have less money, and a further 7% said it was due to being made redundant and the impact this has had on their income.

Ben Osgood, senior manager at The Nottingham Building Society, said: “People’s finances have been impacted by the coronavirus crisis, and this coupled with the restrictions on meeting people and going out, means many will spend less on celebrating this year’s festive season than they did last year.

“However, our research shows that this year, people will place a much bigger focus on the true meaning of Christmas in terms of focusing on the people they care about as opposed to how much they spend on presents”.

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