Christmas Spending in the UK

Christmas Spending in the UK

It’s safe to say that most of us have a tendency of overdoing things come Christmas time, but it’s not just our love of eating, drinking and being merry that gets the better of us in our search of festive cheer. We are a nation of generous gift givers, despite events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday providing a much needed gateway to heavily discounted goods, as a nation we lead the way with Christmas spending and this year we broke our own record reaching £77.56 billion of spending so far in 2016.

As a leading provider of accounting services to companies and sole traders big and small across the North East, we understand that the Christmas period is a great time to do business. Here we take a look at the seasonal shopping habits of consumers in the UK in light of the findings of a recent Europe-wide study.

Brexit? What Brexit!

Despite the fears that many had and still have during these uncertain times as the terms of our departure from the European Union is still the government’s best kept secret, our seasonal spending hasn’t been hampered at all! Whilst UK Christmas spending has grown just 1.9% in comparison to the same period last year, the average UK household still spends almost twice as much as households in Europe.

Christmas is still a peak time for spending, Brexit or not, and according to research gathered by RetailMeNot and the Centre for Retail Research, it is the use of our mobile devices that is keeping us top of the European spending charts. Mobile shopping over Christmas has grown by a staggering 51.2% since 2015. Now shopping on smartphones and tablets accounts for 42.3% of Christmas spending in the UK, a figure that has generated £8.87 billion for retailers across the country.

It’s not just gifts we’re spending money on

In addition to the UK reigning supreme in regards to how much the average household spends on gifts – which is £473.83 per household this year – as a nation we also spend more on food and drink, holiday travel and decorations during December than any other country in Europe. In total, second place spenders Germany devote £616.64 to buying gifts, food and drink, holiday travel and decorations combined, whilst Belgium spends a total of £517.52 and France a total of £484.90, which isn’t far off what we spend on gifts alone.

In total, the average UK household spends £809.97 on gifts, food, travel and Christmas décor, and with the rise and rise of mobile and tablet use, this average is set to grow further next year.