Queensgate shopping centre in Peterborough have commissioned some research regarding Christmas shopping habits and it makes fascinating reading. Their study revealed that the Christmas shop has become an increasingly focused expedition in which consumers research gifts in advance. Doing the research upfront allows them to make last-minute trips to the shops. Men are more likely than women to be late to their Christmas shopping, as 39% of men claim the short notice allows them to find greater bargains.
But the festive spirit is still alive and well with many shoppers increasingly wanting to stop to enjoy a coffee or a meal to make their trip more enjoyable and sociable.
Queensgate’s survey of more than 2,000 consumers asked about their Christmas shopping habits and found that other halves and children are the two most bought-for groups for Christmas gifts. The average amount spent on a partner is £88, with Father Christmas delivering on average £188 of gifts for children. Pets (£12) and colleagues (£11) are the lowest on the average spend list. However, despite spending £36 on Christmas gifts for grandparents, more people will purchase a gift for their pet or colleague over grandparents, which seems rather sad.
Children’s purchasing power is growing in prominence with just under a third of parents giving children a separate Christmas gift allowance, averaging £45 so they can buy gifts for friends and family.
Food and drink gifts, home entertainment and fashion are the most popular items for gifts, however consumer electronics top the list when it comes to average spend (£228), perhaps unsurprisingly. With the launch of Playstation 4 and Xbox consoles and the growing popularity of tablets this isn’t likely to change this year.
Sam Eastwood, centre director at Queensgate, commented: “It’s fascinating how people alter their typical shopping habits for the Christmas shop and it looks like the East Anglia shopper has adopted a steely determination when it comes to festive gift buying. The internet has undoubtedly contributed towards this. Consumers can now be more prepared, researching gifts online in advance, enables them to make the most of their shopping time.”
Queensgate will be extending its opening hours throughout December, providing options for both those who plan and those who leave it late. The centre also boasts a host of coffee break, snacking and dining options to fuel the lone, but sociable (male) shopper!
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