Christmas Shopping

Greetings Dear World

How’s the Christmas shopping going?

Are we big into it?

Do we avoid it?

Do we dread it?

Do we love it?

Do we hate it?

Are we shopping a year in advance?

Are we known as last minute people?

Do we start shopping with a budget?

Do we have a big fat list to get through?

Do we make our fantasy a reality with our credit cards?

Do we love the excitement of shopping at Christmas time?

Do the fairy lights add to the festive frenzy shopping?

Do we always leave it to the very last day?

Do we think we have not bought enough?

Does the Christmas music in the stores keep us hanging there longer and spending more?

Is Christmas shopping all about the kids?

Is Christmas shopping for us all about food?

Is Christmas shopping only about the food and how we can impress others?

Is Christmas shopping for us making sure everything is just Perfect as we are cooking on the day?

Is Christmas shopping for us a time to please others?

Is Christmas shopping all about buying for others?

Is Christmas shopping a calculated choice to ensure we get it right buying gifts?

Is Christmas shopping a false way of being nice when all year round we ignore these people?

Is Christmas shopping a real drag and drain?

Is Christmas shopping a few days off to indulge?

Is Christmas shopping all about getting it over and done in a day?

Is Christmas shopping always Boring but we cannot admit that?

Is Christmas shopping always stimulating for us as we love the buzz and all the distractions?

Is Christmas shopping about a certain image we have in our mind?

Is Christmas shopping living up to our expectations?

Is Christmas shopping something we plan ahead?

Is Christmas shopping a moment to appreciate those we appreciate?

Is Christmas shopping a last minute attempt to splash out and surprise the new hot lady in our life?

Is Christmas shopping a licence to go nuts and spend spend spend because we love it?

Next – check this out

Christmas – largest economic stimulus for many nations worldwide
Sales increase dramatically in almost all retail areas. (1)

Hello

Is this telling us something about one day in the calendar?

Is this a real way of living or does it give rise to ills we are not aware of?

What is it about us that uses Christmas to stimulate?

Do we need to be asking what and why are we subscribing to this?

Does this stimulus reward us like a drug and so we want more of it to get the same effect?

Black Friday is followed up by a long weekend extravaganza which culminates in the online focused “Cyber Monday.
It has recalibrated and brought forward consumers’ pre-Christmas shopping plans. (2)

Christmas season starts on Thanksgiving weekend
Black Friday leading sales and traffic day of the whole season
Closely followed by Super Saturday before Christmas Eve
.

This shopping continues to end of January

After Christmas and New Year’s Eve, retail sales peak again in January as gift cards and vouchers received are used. (3)

Who comes up with these names for days like Super Saturday?
How long before we have a name for the Sunday before Christmas?

Christmas Shopping Statistics

GLOBAL

The largest part of the holiday budget is spent on gifts for the family
Other expenses include decorations | candy | greetings cards
(4)

Biggest Christmas Spenders

Rank   Country      $ spend on Christmas presents per minute during December

1            USA                 2,372,227

 

2            UK                     569,682

 

3           Germany          359,250

 

4            France              341,419

 

5             Italy                  262,694

 

6             Spain                197,221 (5)

 

UK

£1 billion – shoppers to spend Christmas Day 2018

£895 million – Christmas Day spending 2017

Online shopping boom – Trading Standards warn shoppers desperate for bargains

25% adults will shop on websites on 25 December

Consumers shun family activities in favour of bargain hunting

11am         spending will peak, then

5pm          after afternoon movies

70%           online spending will be mobile shopping on Christmas Day

“people don’t want to be stuck in a bedroom on a desktop  computer”
Professor Joshua Bamfield – Director of the Centre for Retail Research (6)

Trading Standards has issued a warning to online shoppers after finding they are putting themselves at risk of falling victim to scams by failing to do basic checks before buying things.

28%           fail look for padlock symbol to check if website secure

25%           shoppers do not look for reviews from seller

22%           fail to check the returns policy

20%           fallen victim to a scam when online shopping

The National Trading Standards have warned shoppers, after the sales “madness” they could be left with –
poor quality | substandard goods | overpriced goods | nothing at all

“One dodgy purchase could mean that money you think is being saved, ends up being money lost when items bought don’t meet initial expectations – or materialise at all.”
Lord Toby Harris – Chairman of National Trading Standards (6)

£2,000       typical household spend each month

25%           extra spend in December

Spending habits change dramatically in the run up to Christmas

More spending on – going out | eating food | drinking Alcohol | buying gifts

How much more do we spend at Christmas  

16%          more on food

39%          more on alcohol

43%          more on clothing

56%          more on toiletries

68%          more on computers

85%          more on books

116%        more on music and dvds

New events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday mean we spend a similar amount in November as we do in December.

One day a week events have moved to week-long events in an attempt to buy our gifts earlier. (7)

 

Christmas Spending 2018 – survey results

53%          start Christmas shopping between October and November

45%          buy Christmas presents for between 5 and 10 people

45%          planning to spend more on family members than children

41%          shoppers plan to spend £100 – £200 on food and decorations

65%          plan to do most of their Christmas shopping online (8)

£300        online shoppers to spend at Christmas

Based on online sales figures from 2017, research commissioned by Royal Mail

54%          clothes – most popular online purchases

46%          books

42%          CDs | DVDs | Computer games (9)

 

USA

 $3 billion  Black Friday – online sales in 2016 (2)

 26 million real Christmas trees purchased (1)

48%          consumers plan to buy gift cards and certificates

Latest holiday consumer survey revealed in 2016 (3)

 

2018

$1.1 trillion spending in holiday sales expected this year

$134 billion predicted in Online Sales this holiday season

$110 billion spending Online during this period in 2017 (10)

 

Estimated Christmas Spending – November 2018

$794         Christmas gifts this year

Latest results based on Galllup Telephone poll conducted 1 – 11 November
Nationally representative sample of 1,037 age 18 or older (11)

Types of gifts consumers plan to purchase similar to 2017
gift cards | clothing | toys

54%          gift cards | gift certificates

53%         clothing

46%          games | toys | dolls

43%          books

39%          food | liquor

Where consumers shop for holiday gifts

60%          Internet | Online Retailers

52%          mass merchants

32%          traditional department stores

28%          off price stores

22%          supermarkets | grocery stores

22%          local independent stores

22%          restaurants | fast food establishments

21%          warehouse membership clubs

21%          electronics | office supply | computer stores

20%          home improvement stores

20%          outlet stores | outlet centers

17%          dollar stores

16%          speciality clothing stores

15%          toy stores (12)

 

CHINA 

“Singles Day” | 11 November | Online one day retail festival

$17.8 billion shoppers spent in 24 hours on one online platform

Singles Day has now become a day where everyone, not just single people buy themselves a gift. (2)

 

AUSTRALIA

2017

$11 billion         spending on Christmas Gifts (13)

2018

$25 billion spending this Christmas

$1,396      average spending for Generation X

$464         average spending on gifts

$1 billion  spending on decorations

43%          plan to donate this year

$76           Gen X spending most on charity donations

$131         average spend on Alcohol per person

$122         average spend on food per person

23%          unwanted gift cards given this Christmas

50%          will spend big on travel (14)

 

CANADA

2016

Christmas Tree Farms

Canada is a net exporter of fresh-cut Christmas trees

 $77.6 million   value of farm cash receipts for Christmas trees

1,872                 farms grew Christmas trees

$43.1 million    value of Christmas trees exported to rest of the world

1,952,489         fresh cut Christmas trees exported to the world

Artificial Christmas Tree Imports

$61 million        total value of artificial Christmas trees imported

$59.5 million   artificial Christmas trees imported from China           

Gifts purchased at large retailers

$5.1 billion          food | beverages

$459.9 million     televisions | audio | video equipment

$417.8 million     toys | games | hobby supplies | electronic games

$274.9 million      computer hardware | computer software

$263.4 million     small electrical appliances

$238.5 million      tableware | kitchenware | cookware | bakeware

$171.6 million     sporting goods

$154.8 million     cosmetics | fragrances

$118   million      jewellery | watches

$98.7   million     stationery | office supplies | cards | gift wrap | party supplies

$73.7 million       cameras | photographic equipment and supplies

21.8 million turkeys produced

Drink and Drug Driving

70,500            incidents of impaired driving reported by police

100                 incidents of Drugs/Alcohol driving causing death (15)

 

2017

$1,622      average holiday shopping in-store

Children and partners are the people consumers spend the most (16)

Millennials (age 23 – 36)(17) most likely to exceed their budget

55%          millennial consumers stating they over-spent

Department stores most popular location for holiday shopping (16)

2018

$675         average spend on holiday shopping

Black Friday eclipsed Boxing Day as shoppers prefer the event –
“shop till you drop”
(18)

46%          holiday spending is on Travel

41%          gifts (19)

40%          plan to take advantage of Black Friday discounts

35%          planning to go deal hunting on Boxing Day

30%          planning for Cyber Monday shopping (18)

 

$65           pet owners average spend on their animals

Majority of consumers love the in-store shopping experience

66%          consider in-store as primary holiday shopping

33%          online shopping from desktops | mobiles | smart home tech

51%          millennials think of online shopping first

61%          use home delivery regularly (19)

 

SINGAPORE

2018

Cost of Christmas 

20%          have set aside more than $500 for festive shopping

50%          plan to shop for gifts 2-3 weeks before Christmas

Top gift recipients

53%          children
49%          close friends
43%          significant others
40%          colleagues/bosses

Children – Toys & Games (66%) | Books & Stationery (34%) | Confectionary (25%)

Close Friends – Confectionary (39%) | Beauty & Grooming (32%) | Alcohol (22%)

Significant Other – Clothes Jewellery (44%) | Gadgets (21%) | Beauty & Grooming (20%) | Experiential Gifts (20%)

Colleagues/Bosses – Confectionary (59%) | Alcohol (30%) | Novelties (19%) (20)

2017

76,800 hours to make Christmas decorations

15,120 man hours to get famous shopping street ready for Christmas

“Singaporeans are so exposed to the Singles day, Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, which soak up a lot of shopping dollars globally.
Retailers here have to work really hard to build excitement around Christmas discounts and raise it up slowly until Chinese New Year.
Hence the November, December and January period is key for retailers to get as much excitement around shopping for customers.”
Prem Shamdasani – Associate Professor – Department of Marketing at NUS Business School (21)

 
53%          look to chatbots for help with holiday shopping 

74%          actually acted on recommendations of the chatbots (21)

 
What is a Chatbot?

English Oxford Living Dictionary

A computer program designed to simulate conversation with human users, especially over the Internet. (22)

 
Dear World

So here it is – a snapshot of what we spend at Christmas

What exactly is it telling us about our shopping behaviour?

Do these statistics tell us what we value in life?

What is it telling us about wanting a fresh tree and not bothered where it comes from?

Do some of us campaign about the environment but are happy to ignore the fact our big tree does affect our earth?

Are our spending habits throughout the year just a continuation at Christmas time?

How many of us don’t even know why we have Christmas or what it really means?

What if we just stop and ask ourselves, what is the feeling we are left with when the whole thing stops and ends?

References

(1) (n.d). U.S. Christmas Season – Statistics & Facts. Statista. Retrieved December 22, 2018 from
https://www.statista.com/topics/991/us-christmas-season/

(2) Blackley, N. (2017, November 9). China’s Singles Day Retail Phenomenon Will Blow Black Friday Out the Water. Independent. Retrieved December 15, 2018 from
https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/how-china-s-singles-day-black-friday-a8043346.html

(3) (2018). Roughly How Much Money Do You Think You Personally Will Spend on Christmas Gifts This Year? Statista. Retrieved December 23, 2018 from
https://www.statista.com/statistics/246963/christmas-spending-in-the-us-during-november/

(4) Rogan, J. (2018, November 9). What People Spend on Christmas Around the World. Investopedia. Retrieved December 23, 2018 from
https://www.investopedia.com/financial-edge/1212/what-people-spend-on-christmas-around-the-world.aspx

(5) (2018, November 28). Research Reveals How Much Money Gets Spent on Christmas Presents Every Minute Around the World. Business Matters. Retrieved December 23, 2018 from
https://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/news/research-reveals-how-much-money-gets-spent-on-christmas-presents-every-minute-around-the-world/

(6) Morley, K. (2018, December 19). Shoppers Predicted to Spend £1bn on Christmas Day for the First Time. The Telegraph. Retrieved December 22, 2018 from
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/12/19/shoppers-predicted-spend-1bn-christmas-day-first-time/

(7) (n.d). How Much Do We Spend at Christmas? Bank of England. Retrieved December 22, 2018 from
https://edu.bankofengland.co.uk/knowledgebank/how-much-do-we-spend-at-christmas/

(8) (2018). Christmas Spending 2018 – Survey Results. bobatoo.co.uk. Retrieved December 22, 2018 from
https://bobatoo.co.uk/christmas-spending-2018-survey-results/

(9) Jahshan, E. (2018, November 9). Online Shoppers to Spend Almost £300 at Christmas. Retail Gazette. Retrieved December 22, 2018 from
https://www.retailgazette.co.uk/blog/2018/11/online-shoppers-spend-almost-300-christmas/

(10) Thomas, L. (2018, November 13). Retailers Could Ring Up More Than $1.1 Trillion in Holiday Sales, Topping Last Year. CNBC. Retrieved December 22, 2018 from
https://www.cnbc.com/2018/09/18/retailers-could-ring-up-more-than-1point1-trillion-in-holiday-sales.html

(11) Saad, L. (2018, November 15). Consumers’ Holiday Spending Estimate is Down, But Still Solid. GALLUP. Retrieved December 22, 2018 from
https://news.gallup.com/poll/244766/consumers-holiday-spending-estimate-down-solid.aspx

(12) Furman, B., Hogan, S., Sangadi, R. K. V., & Sides, R. (2018, October 23). 2018 Deloitte Holiday Retail Survey. Deloitte Insights. Retrieved December 22, 2018 from
https://www2.deloitte.com/insights/us/en/industry/retail-distribution/holiday-retail-sales-consumer-survey.html?nc=1

(13) (December 4, 2017). Aussies Splurge $11B on Christmas Shopping. CommSec. Retrieved December 22, 2018 from
https://www.commsec.com.au/content/dam/EN/ResearchNews/ECOReport.4.12.17_Aussie-spending-boost-over-chrsitmas.pdf

(14) (2018). Australia’s Christmas Spending 2018. Finder. Retrieved December 22, 2018 from
https://www.finder.com.au/christmas-spending-statistics-2018

(15) (2018, May 5). Christmas…by the Numbers. Statistics Canada. Retrieved December 22, 2018 from
https://www.statcan.gc.ca/eng/dai/smr08/2017/smr08_222_2017

(16) (n.d). Holiday Season Shopping in Canada – Statistics & Facts. Statista. Retrieved December 22, 2018 from
https://www.statista.com/topics/2801/holiday-season-in-canada/

(17) Shugerman, E. (2018, March 15). What is a Millennial and When is the Cut Off Date for Generation Y? Independent. Retrieved December 22, 2018 from
https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/millennial-how-old-is-generation-y-cutoff-date-pew-research-center-a8235731.html

(18) Alini, E. (2018, November 19). How Much Canadians Across the Country Plan to Spend This Holiday Season. Global News. Retrieved December 22, 2018 from
https://globalnews.ca/news/4671068/2018-black-friday-canada-holiday-spending/

(19) 2018 Canadian Holiday Outlook. PWC. Retrieved December 22, 2018 from
https://www.pwc.com/ca/en/industries/retail-consumer/2018-holiday-outlook-canadian-insights.html

(20) (n.d). Christmas Shopping in Singapore: Some Surprising Facts. The Asian Parent Singapore. Retrieved December 22, 2018 from
https://sg.theasianparent.com/christmas-shopping-in-singapore

(21) Cher, B. (2017, December 26). ‘Tis the Season of Cheer for Local Retailers. The Edge Singapore. Retrieved December 22, 2018 from
https://www.theedgesingapore.com/tis-season-cheer-local-retailers

(22) (n.d). English Oxford Living Dictionaries. Retrieved December 22, 2018 from
https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/chatbot

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Comments 4

  1. Thank you Simple Living Global once again for another superb post.

    Looking at the figures of how much we are spending, it is an extraordinary amount and considering that most people’s lives are spent looking forward to this once a year event, it feels like this is a perpetual cycle of spend, spend, spend.

    It can be quite difficult not to get caught up in Christmas spending as everywhere that we look – whether it be on TV, on the internet or in our local supermarkets – there are constant messages about Christmas. Whether it be the speciality food, reduced priced items, or gift ideas everything seems to change at this time of year with the focus on one thing – Christmas.

    Reading this recent news article on Christmas shopping is an eye-opener

    The Telegraph – 20 December 2018

    Christmas deliveries are now taking two days longer than previous years as online shopping hits new high.

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/12/20/christmas-deliveries-now-taking-two-days-longer-previous-years/

    Research by retail analysts at accounting firm Accenture found that –

    25% retailers said that they were struggling to cope with purchasing demands at peak times.

    At the same time customers are being asked to spend more in order to qualify for free delivery; the spending threshold for free delivery has risen by 5% compared to 2017.

    Separate data from complaints handling firm Revolver, shows complaints about online shops and delivery firms in December 2018 has soared when compared to the same period last year.

    This December it has taken 443 complaints per day about online shops and delivery firms.
    This is almost triple the amount from 2017, when 166 complaints per day were taken.

    Something clearly is not right.

    We are demanding more and more and even the retailers cannot keep up.

    Are all of these purchases really needed and if not, why are we spending so much?

    The creation of the internet has made this even more possible. No longer do we have to leave our home as within seconds we have clicked the buttons and got the purchase that we desire. Online purchasing can even be completed just as quick whilst we are on the go due to mobile phones.

    What if we have a perpetual need to keep going and going because we never stop and as result we create more and more things that we think we need.?

    What if none of these things are needed and it is true connection that we seek?

    Do these blogs by Simple Living Global hold the answers?

    https://simplelivingglobal.com/plug-in-and-connect/

    https://simplelivingglobal.com/stop-just-stop/

  2. BBC News – 24 December 2018

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-46672730

    This year it is forecast that shops will make bigger discounts than usual in the Boxing Day sales.

    Retailers will be forced to cut prices to clear unwanted stock.

    Average discounts of at least 52% off from Boxing Day have been predicted by management consultancy Deloitte.

    Post-Christmas sales are incredibly important for a retailer just to keep their house in order says Richard Perks, Director of Retail Research at Mintel.

    By midday this Christmas Eve, the number of shoppers overall visiting High Street shops, shopping centres and retail parks was up 6.8% on 2017.

    Independent retail analyst Richard Hyman said the high level of pre-Christmas discounting showed the industry was “very distressed”. Discounts have come earlier, he said as retailers have far too much stock and not enough cash.

    Traditionally part of the reason for Boxing Day sales has not just been to get rid of unwanted stock, but to bring in cash to pay for new stock.

    However many shops are now offering money off most of the time, meaning that traditional sales like Boxing Day have become rather meaningless. The eternal discounting now means that customers are encouraged to put off purchases, because they know if they wait the price will come down.

    Reading this it seems like the whole retail industry is a game and not just there for the simple production of goods that customers want.

    What if the focus was on providing quality products that support our clients and that was it?

    What if the sole focus of making money was not at the forefront of any business?

    What if through operating in this way as a retailer we would make enough money for what we need, not in excess and this would stop the current game of the way that we do business?

    What if by putting people before profit, we would have a whole different retail industry?
    One that is focused on quality and care and not all about the £$.

  3. Waitrose – Food Newspaper
    13 December 2018

    One vegetable producer shared that during week beginning 10th December 2018 demand for brussels sprouts goes up 800% compared to what it would have been at the beginning of December.

    “We’ll have 11 harvesting machines running almost 24 hours a day, harvesting 32 rows at a time – in fact, we’ve got machines that we don’t use for the rest of the year, but have to have just for this week. The rush starts 10 days before Christmas and the busiest time is the 20th to the 22nd because that’s when we have to get deliveries out for the days most people do their Christmas food shopping.” says George Read, Lincolnshire grower

    It is so interesting that at one time of year our food choices change and look at the demand 800%. I have always known brussels sprouts to be associated with Christmas but had no idea the demand is so high, considering they are available the rest of the year.

    What makes one thing popular over another at this time of year?

    Why do we the consumer demand certain items at this time of year?

    What is the background – what is behind it all?

    What does this insistent call for certain products do to the manufacturers or those working in the industry?

    Does it put them under unnecessary strain and stress just so we can get what we want?

    Is this necessary and is this the best way for us to be using our resources?

  4. I have had several conversations with people the last week about Christmas. Each conversation had a theme, that for the month of January they are in debt due to over spending at Christmas and they do not know how they will clear this. One said it was not worth it as most of the recepients of the presents were not happy with what was given and that made it more stressful.

    In my household there has never been pressure to buy into Christmas. We do not exchange presents or buy for others. In fact I stopped buying into the Christmas fuss 26 years ago. I would rather work.

    Is Christmas shopping really worth it? Do we feel the pressure to people please because Christmas is a time for giving (or so they say)?

    World take note this blog really does make sense.

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