Christmas has come early

Christmas has come early

Almost 75% of consumers will have started their Christmas shopping by the end of October

We can all say that 2020 has been far from ‘the norm’, and it’s likely that Christmas will continue the trend. Our usual Christmas traditions will be modified to meet the needs of social distancing – so who knows who’ll be sitting round your table for Christmas lunch this year!?

What about when it comes our Christmas shopping? What impact will Covid have on consumer shopping behaviour this year? Here at Spark, we’ve been carrying out a number of studies exploring the many impacts of the Covid pandemic, with retail being one of the sectors.

Our studies have consistently shown a picture of a nation split by those who have been seriously financially impacted by Covid through unemployment or reduction in salaries, and those who have seen an increase in their disposable incomes through a reduction in their outgoings.

As the months go by, we’ve seen people become more ground down by the restrictions and therefore, are looking for ways to lift their spirits; those with money are ready to splurge, and Christmas is the perfect excuse.

The research we conducted for Kinetic Insight, the Out-of-Home (OOH) communications specialists, suggested that 16% of Irish consumers plan to spend more on their Christmas shopping than in previous years, particularly among younger consumers (25-34yrs). The main driver of greater spending is treating/rewarding yourself for getting through the difficult months.

Christmas shopping is going to start early this year. Almost three quarters of shoppers claimed they will have already started their shopping by the end October. In fact, only 2% of shoppers are going to wait until December to do their Christmas shopping.

Shoppers want to ensure that their Christmas is not impacted by Covid, and shopping early takes the extra pressure off. This may also lead to a positive impact on Christmas sales as people continue to buy ‘extras’ into December; or replace food and drink consumed too early.

As with the Irish population, it feels like this will be a Christmas with retail winners and losers; those with a strong online offer are likely to have a relatively good year, but those who rely on the in-store experience may struggle

Brace yourselves!

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