UK Shoppers Expect to Spend GBP500 Million Less on Christmas

By Intersperience, PRNE
Monday, November 22, 2010

Intersperience Survey Forecasts Tough Time for Retailers

LONDON, November 23, 2010 - Cautious consumers are predicting they will spend 6% less on gifts this
Christmas, according to a survey by international consumer research
specialist Intersperience.

The average amount people are prepared to spend this year is GBP241 per
head, with 45% of those questioned admitting that the uncertain economic
climate had affected their shopping plans.

Paul Hudson, chief executive of Intersperience, said: "If that pattern
played out uniformly across the 35 million or so people of working age in
Britain, the result would be a drop in total high street spending of more
than GBP500 million.

He added: "The spending predictions are the lowest we have ever recorded,
so it is clear that retailers are going to have to offer deep discounts in
the next few weeks to generate an acceptable level of sales."

The biggest reduction in spending plans is among the over-25s, who are
expecting to spend GBP287 per person, almost GBP35 less than 12 months ago.
By contrast, the spending plans of 18- to 24-year-olds showed a marked
increase, with an average predicted spend of GBP189 this year compared to
GBP168 last time.

Hudson said there was one crumb of comfort for store groups: consumers
always tend to bust their budgets. Last year, for example, Intersperience
found that one in three shoppers spent more than they had originally planned.

The survey also reveals a significant shift towards online retailing this
Christmas. For those who expect to shop in stores and on websites, 54% of
their spending will be online. The big impetus is coming from the younger
generation, with spending in the under-25 age group likely to be almost 30%
higher than a year ago.

Hudson said this is a crucial year for online retailers: "They did not do
too well last year. There were big problems with stocking levels and
delivering goods before Christmas Day and that drove people back to high
street stores. The problems meant that one in five people spent less online
than they had anticipated."

According to Intersperience the most popular gifts will be books, CDs and
DVDs, followed closely by cosmetics and perfume. Electrical goods, clothes
and lingerie are likely to be the other top gifts.

Intersperience's prediction for the technology "must-have" this year is
the iPad or one of its tablet computer rivals, with almost a quarter of
over-25s saying they are very interested in owning one.


About the Intersperience Christmas Shopping Survey:

Intersperience conducted a comprehensive survey of shoppers in the UK on
their spending plans and shopping habits in the run-up to Christmas. The
survey used quantitative and qualitative research methods to predict shopping
behaviour and includes consumers' views on the impact of economic conditions
and favourite gifts for this year. It includes data on the impact of Internet
shopping on consumers and analysis of differences in the behaviour and
preferences of consumers aged 18-24 and those aged 25 and above.

Intersperience Chief Executive Paul Hudson is available for interview.

About Intersperience:

Intersperience is an international consumer research specialist with
expertise in consumer behaviour, experience and attitudes. The team, which is
headquartered in Cumbria, has more than 25 years experience in analysing
consumer behaviour. It employs a range of interpretative models and
frameworks including a proprietary online research platform. Intersperience
has significant global expertise and an international research hub at
Lancaster University, which conducts research in more than 60 languages as
well as associates in major global markets. Intersperience is an expert in
how technology impacts on consumer behaviour and multi-channel customer
service strategy. Clients include: The British Council; General Motors;
Iceland; Samsung; ScottishPower; and William Hill.

    For more information:
    Tel: +44(0)15395-65450

    Media Contacts:

    Valerie Darroch tel +44(0)7970-737708 Email
    Roland Main tel +44(0)7930-273249 Email

Tel: +44(0)15395-65450, Media Contacts: Valerie Darroch tel +44(0)7970-737708 Email valdarroch at, Roland Main tel +44(0)7930-273249 Email roland at

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