Cost of living won’t deter Christmas spending

Cost of living won’t deter Christmas spending

Future plc has released findings on expected consumer shopping trends and expenditure for Black Friday and Christmas 2022, against the backdrop of the cost of living crisis. The research reveals 91 per cent of Brits will be the same or more engaged in Black Friday this year despite 88 per cent expressing that they are concerned or very concerned about the current economic climate. In addition, just 20 per cent will cut back on Christmas spending this year indicating quiet optimism overall.

The research, based on a survey in June 2022 of 2,462 respondents – all recruited independently via Future plc’s research platform The Lens – included more than 50 in-depth questions about the cost of living crisis, savings, shopping, Black Friday and Christmas. The sample is nationally representative for the UK, with percentage split ensured for gender, geography, age and social class. Of this sample, 59 per cent of respondents are Future readers.

The analysis reveals the cost of living crisis is now consumer’s number one concern and a mainstream issue, with just 5 per cent not expecting to make any spending cutbacks. Surpassing the Coronavirus pandemic, which now sits at eighth, to complete the top three concerns are family health and family financial security, while the future of the NHS and war in Ukraine place fourth and fifth.

More than four in five (81 per cent) individuals expect to cut back on non-essential retail goods with 61 per cent expecting their spending habits to return to normal once the cost of living crisis has passed, indicating the situation is temporary. Furthermore, 60 per cent of the British public have savings remaining from lockdown, with 75 per cent confident they can survive the crisis given their savings and 43 per cent planning to use savings to maintain their current lifestyle. However the British public is also taking practical steps to become more agile with household budgets and discretionary spending with 47 per cent choosing not to eat and drink out in social settings, 38 per cent cutting entertainment subscriptions and 29 per cent putting planned holidays on hold.

Looking ahead to upcoming retail events, Black Friday has become further entrenched with the Christmas shopping period, with 43 per cent seeing the day as their main way of sourcing gifts for Christmas and 27 per cent already planning where to spend their budgets for the festive season. In fact, just 13 per cent of consumers plan to cut their Black Friday spend and over half (51 per cent) see Black Friday as a vital time of the year to make their money go as far as possible. Likewise, just 20 per cent will be cutting their festive budgets, reflecting that 45 per cent are determined to make Christmas bigger and better than ever.

For Future’s audience specifically, readers are more likely to have a greater budget to spend this Christmas (+27 per cent) and Black Friday (+44 per cent) than the average Brit, highlighting a strong intent to buy. Although a proportion of lockdown savings have been injected back into the economy, 83 per cent of Future’s audience have savings remaining, placing them in a more optimistic position to navigate the cost of living crisis and events like Christmas and Black Friday. Online marketplaces continue to be the preferred method of gift shopping at 51 per cent, however, confidence has increased in bricks and mortar since last year with a third (33 per cent) expected to shop on the high-street.

Although the cost of living affects businesses as well as consumers, 95 per cent of the Future audience expect brands to take corrective action with 47 per cent looking to brands to meet them halfway by reducing prices.

“Christmas and Black Friday are two strong anchor points in the calendar that seem increasingly non-negotiable in terms of engagement and involvement among UK consumers despite the cost of living crisis. Our research shows, however, that Brits will spend wisely during this time, carefully calculating their savings accumulated in lockdown, making pragmatic decisions to alter their lifestyles and seeking out valuable advice through content online to get the best deals. Through this research, Future can see there is still enthusiasm and purchase intent amongst our audience base, supplying brands with the data they need to create the optimal commercial content ahead of this year’s big retail events,” said Clare Dove, UK group commercial director at Future plc.


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