There’s an opportunity for businesses to win big this festive season, according to a study from VoucherCodes and the Centre of Retail Research, which have found Christmas spending per UK household will average at £821.25. It’s a 1.3 per cent rise on 2016 and suggests Brexit may not be such a fear for consumers as it’s believed with retailers presented an opportunity to earn more. Meanwhile, the UK sum is 54 per cent more than European households, which will have a Christmas spending average of £532.01. Where the high street and online are concerned, Christmas spending on the web will increase 11.8 per cent on 2016 and accounts for the largest retail growth driver, the report found. Having said that, sales in stores will fall by 2.5 per cent in the UK – a decline larger than any seen across Europe. Some 68 per cent declared intentions to do their Christmas spending online to escape crowds, 62 per cent to avoid queues and half to get better value for money with price comparisons and access to reviews. Strangely, a Grinch-esque 23 per cent will even shop online solely to “avoid having to put up with repetitive festive jingles”. For those doing their Christmas spending while pounding the streets though, 59 per cent like making a physical connection, appreciating being able to get hands on products and 49 per cent enjoy receiving goods straight after payment. Overall, Christmas spending in the UK will amount to £78.69bn, with money going on gifts, decorations, food and drink. Mobile will play a pivotal role in all the shopping that takes place online, meanwhile, accounting for 44.3 per cent of sales. Paul Lewis, senior director of marketing at VoucherCodes, said: “Despite ongoing economic uncertainty with Brexit and rising inflation, it seems Brits are still happy to splash their cash to make the most of the festive season, with spend across all major categories seeing a year-on-year rise.” The findings also noted that 15 per cent of Brits have been doing their Christmas spending throughout the year to spread the cost, while 12 per cent will wait for events such as Black Friday to get more for their money. Four per cent of organised shoppers even complete Christmas spending before Halloween.
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